Issue No. 5
July 25, 2013
We all fall prey to the limits of our own awareness and thinking. Before we get hopeless, here are three things you can do to minimize errors. I’ll talk about the first one here and other two in subsequent editions of Constance’s Comments.
Framing – How you understand the decision you are making.
Assumptions – What you think is true or not true.
Deadly Data – When you drown in mountains of data that tell you little or nothing.
Framing. How you establish the parameters of the issue under consideration. What is your focus and what are the boundaries? An all too oft used phrase “it’s about…” is a way to frame a discussion or argument. In my experience people get pretty wound up about details that are not actually linked to what they are trying to accomplish. Arguments occur over details that are, to put it politely, arbitrary. What difference does it make if a survey has 20 or 30 questions, for example, if the information gleaned is not on target?
The cure for this is to keep your eye on the objectives. What are you trying to achieve? Until you are clear on that, all alternatives are arbitrary. Framing a discussion as a choice amongst arbitrary options is a waste of time, an energy drain, and keeps you from working on the most important issues.
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