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John Adair's 100 Greatest Ideas for Smart Decision Making by John Adair

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Idea 32: Factor analysis

To see what is in front of your nose requires a constant struggle.

George Orwell, author of Nineteen Eighty-Four and Animal Farm

A factor is a circumstance, fact or influence that actively contributes to a result. When making any significant decision, there will be factors that have a direct or indirect bearing on that decision. Here are some practical suggestions:

  • List and name (or identify) all the major factors that are self-evidently important, and those minor ones that could have some influence on the achievement of the aim. For example, a general may have to consider the parties’ relative strengths, ground, time and space, climatic conditions, security and courses open to the enemy.
  • Continually ask yourself when ...

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