Think it Over

Every decision is a deliberate act. It’s the result of a well rehearsed pattern. Using this pattern, we often gather data, analyze it and draw conclusions without much conscious effort. We do it because it works. And it works because our life experience has refined the technique that brings us the best results — most of the time.

These patterns of decision making are usually helpful. After all, if we had to go through a six step decision making process every time we wanted to start the car or make a pot of coffee, we’d never get very far or, for that matter, wake up.

The problem arises when the pattern fails us for some reason. For example, starting the car is routine until the engine won’t turn over. If at that point we keep using the same old technique of turning the key, we’ll only succeed in running the battery down.

Individuals, teams, corporations and even countries routinely stick with a failing course of action. They keep applying the solutions that used to work despite evidence that they no longer work.

If you’re not getting the results you want, stop the process. Take a second look. Make a conscious effort to find a new solution. Figure out what’s working now.