Chapter 16

Decision Making

What is a decision and why are we often afraid of making one? A decision is an irrevocable commitment of limited resources. So it stands to reason that we'd be afraid of making the wrong decision, even if we are using systems thinking to make the best possible decisions at every turn. We all know there are no 100 percent guaranteed outcomes, so it comes down to our comfort level with taking risk.


Recall the HIDE model from Chapter 13 once more—the idea of taking risks, and which kinds of risks, is a big part of our habits, identity, defensiveness, and expectations. But we need to make decisions in life, no matter what. And we know they may as well be the best decisions possible, which often entails taking some sort of risk. In turn, we also know we need to take risks to get anything we really want or need. As a balance to HIDE, I will introduce one last model, which I like to call SAFE, to be used during any decision-making process. It is composed of these four components:

1. Spend. You have to spend resources no matter what, so as much as possible, minimize your commitment of resources for any decision. But remember that you can only minimize the commitment of resources to the extent that we can still execute the best decision possible. Spend is about the need to spend, but the goal of limiting it to the smallest amount (and shortest time) in order to validate your hypothesis, support the decision, and achieve the goal.
2. Act. Nothing says risk ...

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