Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Options and Other Dangers

The Sandwich Game. Your staff has provided you with three options: Do nothing, take some moderate course, and do a great deal.

In most instances, it is a safe bet that they favor the middle option. You need to bounce the decision paper back to them with the gentle request: "Give me more options." They will become more creative.

The Either/Or Game. This is where the explanation for various actions is couched as "Either they meant this or they meant that." There may well be five or more things they meant. Think harder.

The "Life is a Mirror" Game. "To take that position would be completely irrational." Ah, but it may be very rational to the other person. If you want to predict how "mad" people will behave, should you consider your standard or theirs? We think Saddam Hussein's failure to admit, in a credible manner, that he did not have weapons of mass destruction was irrational. But what if he regarded doing so as more humiliating than being defeated in battle?

The "Hold Off on Making a Decision" Game. Holding off is a decision. Do you have enough time to make that a viable option? Or will that lead you to the next game?

The All Bad Choices Box. This is where you have fumbled about and let the good options expire. The only choices now are bad ones and you have to pick the least damaging. One of your goals should be never to reach this stage. You may never fully rebound.

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