Chapter 3. All Kinds of Dilemmas, but Just a Few Types

There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened.

Douglas Adams, author of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Dilemmas are all around us. We encounter them in daily life and they are part of every business. In fact, as we live in the globalized world and our societies become more heterogeneous, we are facing more dilemmas now than, say, 50 years ago. Life is less predictable, and we are confronted with more people who have different views. Managers from different generations can be peers in the same company. Different subcultures, each with their own identity, put their mark on the corporate culture. Companies operating in multiple countries have to deal with different national cultures. These can all lead to important dilemmas to deal with.

Functional disciplines each have their own typical dilemmas. For instance, in sales, people often have to weigh the certainty of a small, tactical deal now, versus the opportunity of a more strategic deal later. Or should we sell to a customer directly and keep all the margin, versus selling through a partner, which may lead to reciprocal business, but also leads to lower margins due to partner commissions. Or, more fundamentally, do we focus on value, and advise a customer ...

Get Dealing with Dilemmas: Where Business Analytics Fall Short now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.