decision making

Decision Making

Most, if not all people are aware of the basic decision making/problem solving framework of :

1)Defining the Problem

2) Developing a range of alternatives/solutions

3)Take Action

4)Look back and verify/analysis

Equally important I believe we need to understand a few additional distinctions. One being, you have to understand the consequences of each of the alternatives and consequently of your ultimate choice/decision. Included in this broad stroke, is understanding the trade-offs of each altnernative. Two, we have to realize that no decision is completely without uncertainty, and yet a decision must be made. Thirdly, decisions are a matter of weighing probabilities and fourthly, judge decisions not only the results, but also on how they were made.

The last point relates to focusing on process rather than the end result. Most people rate success/failure/talent based on end results and not on how the end result was reached. An excellent area where process is paramount is in poker. In the introduction to his book, The Theory of Poker, professional poker player David Sklansky has this to say: “Any time you make a bet with the best of it, where the odds are in your favour, you have earned something whether you actually win or lose the bet. By the same token, when you make a bet with the worst of it, where the odds are not in your favour, you have lost something, whether you actually win or lose the bet.”

In summary:

Good process and good outcome=deserved success

Good process and bad outcome=bad break

Bad process and good outcome=good (dumb) luck

Bad process and bad outcome=poetic justice

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