A practical approach to making decisions in complexity

First, you establish enough shared context to move on – so you all know what is happening around you.

Then, you establish enough shared purpose or intent to move on.

Remember, you all need to be able to move to the next step together – any problems, back down you go!

Then, identify the critical ‘what if’ (risk) and ‘how to’ (outcome) questions which, if answered, will allow us to define the work to achieve the intent.

Generate ideas to answer those critical questions, select the best, and check benefits and concerns of the actions they suggest – do a mini ‘seven steps’ on each piece of work if necessary

Then assign tasks and get on with work… and learn what you’ve done wrong. 

The golden rule is:

any time you get a surprise, e.g. you learn that we didn’t understand the context, that our purpose might be counterproductive, that we didn’t really understand the context, that we’re answering a question wrong…
…you have to all go back down as many steps as needed to correct that problem.

It takes practice. And it works.

Where does your team go wrong on decision-making in complex times? Where do you get it right?


Download ‘seven steps to heaven’ – a decision-making model for complex times – here: https://media-exp1.licdn.com/dms/document/C561FAQG9RXREfwjpnA/feedshare-document-pdf-analyzed/0/1603262148057?e=1610557200&v=beta&t=R_4LBWEoYBUmOH5AkNuEz71TGAF_Wsvk0fO9u-H9lmI