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

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Idea 47: The do nothing option

If none of the feasible options attract you and you cannot produce a satisfactory compromise, it is always worth asking yourself, ‘Do I have to take action at all?’ The option of doing nothing, of deciding not to act, is always worth considering. Sometimes the proposed cure promises to be worse than the disease.

However, the decision to do nothing must be taken for a very good reason and not because you cannot think of another way – still less because you are procrastinating or merely being indecisive.

An important principle to bear in mind is that problems often have a life cycle. Imagine that you are trying to manage two very difficult individuals, both recently transferred to you from other departments. Person ...

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