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Making your mind up

Decision making is a risky business. Afterall, you might get it wrong. That's why many people just avoid it. Paralysis is preferable.

So for those with brave hearts, here's Jungle Ron's guide to decision making. There are three possible options.

1: The 'due process' option
(Favoured by railway managers)

Set up a committee and call an inaugural meeting. Elect yourself as chairman - control is vital. Bulk up the guest list with some people who have nothing better to do with their time. is a good place to start. Their people don’t know much but they don’t rock the boat either.

Two Decision Support Managers at work

Then set up a focus group and pencil in at least three brainstorming sessions. Don't forget to arrange the lunchtime nibbles.

Write a report and send it out for consultation. Allow two weeks to get the thumbs-up as your group members will be very busy attending other meetings.

Convene a workshop to work through the feedback. Incorporate any amendments and then forward the report for comment from your senior executives. Allow another two weeks and be prepared to set up a seminar to consider any proposed amendments.

Publish the draft report and allow four weeks for further comments.

Commission a risk assessment to determine the suitability of the report's conclusion. Consider the benefits of a research programme to look 'outside the box' at other options. Seek advise from your local Decision Support Manager.

If you are absolutely sure that you have thoroughly investigated every possibility, make the decision but don't act on it. Doing nothing is always the safest option.
...make the decision but don't act on it. Doing nothing is always the safest option.

2: The nuclear option

Ask your wife or girlfriend whether the tie does or does not go with the shirt. She will take two seconds to give you an answer which will be right first time and must be acted upon.

You might start to wonder why you didn’t ask her in the first place.

3: The real-world option

Become a COSS. You will then spend all your working life making split-second, life-dependent decisions.....all on your own!

Story added 1st May 2006

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