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Making Decisions Outside Your Repertoire

| June 30, 2009

by Jim Bruce

Today’s Tuesday Reading is “Making Decisions Outside Your Repertoire”  by Ronald Heifetz (you remember him from the first session of the Leadership Program), Marty Linsky, and Alexander Grashow.

The article begins by noting that in turbulent times like today, pressure in on to act quickly.  But, the authors argue, that strategic moves depend on making smart decisions, not quick ones.  They go on to say that “many current challenges have no known solution because they stem from complex, new issues.”  So, since we have not seen the problems before, we have no ready solution precluding fast action.

The authors tell us that we need to resist that urge to act and give us three steps to follow:

1.  Observe.  This means collect data, see what events and patterns are developing around you.

2.  Interpret.  Examine what you are seeing and hearing in what is happening around you and develop multiple, realistic hypotheses about what is going on.

3.  Intervene.  Test the hypotheses, address the challenge, monitor progress and be willing to change your intervention as you make new observations and interpretations.  

Given the complexity of the world we live in, this piece is must reading.


Have a great week.  .  .  .  .     jim