Thursday, March 15, 2007

Think Differently

Dwight Eisenhower used to urge his cabinet members to slow down their decision making, noting, "Let's not be in a hurry to make our mistakes!"
Reverse Decision Making has been around for a while and yet it is seldom used in many organizations. That's surprising because it can prevent disaster.

The technique is simple: When brainstorming the implementation of a project, take out some time to jot down what you would do if you wanted to create problems. As you and your team start throwing items on the list, it's not unusual to hear a tone of uneasiness.

The reason comes out when the follow-up question is asked: How many of these are we doing or on the verge of doing?

Although an outright screw-up is unusual, being on the verge of one is not. Reverse Decision Making is great for ferreting out vague responsibilities, hidden deadlines, overlooked interest groups, and unaddressed concerns.

Oh yes. It has the added advantage of being fun.

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