Should we do this or that? That is often the start of a journey down a dangerous path. Why? Because it ignores the many other possible paths. Before you make a decision, it is critical that you brainstorm as many possibilities as possible.
Therefore, learn to distrust any either/or choices. If you are having a hard time coming up with solid choices. Try some of these techniques:
- Always consider multiple options: Include in those options some prevention choices (risk mitigation) or promotion choices (options to take advantage of opportunities).
- Ask yourself, what would you do if none of the current choices were available to you? What if you could not do any of your current options? What would you do?
- Use integrative thinking popularized by Roger L. Martin. In this technique, you take the best options of both of your current choices and use them to maximize the benefits of a third more powerful option. Think about this and that vs. this or that.
- Look for:
- Bright spots within your organization / locally
- Benchmarks within your industry
- Analogies in other areas
- Remember: “Someone has solved your problem” Find out how and learn from that.
- Beware of sham options i.e. options that you, or someone on your team, puts on the table simply to check the box to have additional options that highlight how great the favorite option is.
Use these techniques to always ensure that you have lots of great options for your decision making. You will find that your decisions will be much higher quality.
Just my opinion. What do you think? Let me know in the comments.
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