In every case, we hope that the person making the decision understands the implications and the consequences of that decision.
Sadly, in many instances, the person (or people) making the decision(s) doesn’t understand the situation properly and those affected suffer.
We see this at the macro level – decisions made by western governments to ‘aid’ people in developing countries or decisions made by our government which affect us directly. How often do we hear people saying ‘Why have they done this, they have no idea how ordinary people live?’
Too often this is true. Decisions are made by people in power whose lives are a million miles away from the day to day lives of all the people that the decision affects. They have very little idea how the consequences will pan out – they know what they think will happen, based on the advice that they receive from their advisors (many of whom are equally out of touch). The reality is often very different.
Those of us who are affected by these decisions are also, of course, making decisions of our own which affect other people. What about our decisions? Do we always know how the consequences will play out? How our decisions will affect our partners, our friends, our colleagues or our customers?
We can never be 100% sure of the consequences of our decisions (and neither should we – nothing would ever get done!) But perhaps we should pause sometimes and think more deeply about who will be affected and how they will be affected. Having a better understanding of this at the outset guarantees better results (for everyone) in the long term.
Next time – LUC, the Law of Unintended Consequences.