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

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Idea 38: Probing the consequences

The whole process of making a decision can be summed up in three elements:

1. Making the decision.

2. Implementing it.

3. Living with the consequences.

It is helpful to bear in mind that consequences can be divided into six categories, which overlap considerably. These are described in the table below.

Probing the consequences
Type of consequenceProbing questions
DesirableWhat solid advantages does this course or solution have in terms of the common purpose, aim or objective?
UndesirableDoes it have unwelcome side effects? Does it create more problems than it solves?
ManifestWhat consequences – good or bad – are open to view now?
LatentThere will be consequences I cannot foresee now. Can I cut down their number ...

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