-How to fail-

There are two ways of dealing with one's failures, emotionally speaking, for me - I either go into a melodramatic fit complete with tears and swoons, or I bury my head in the sand (metaphorically speaking) and ignore the consequences of the failure for as long as it takes until I have to face up to the reality.

The other, more rational and useful, approach to be deployed after all the drama is to question why the failure occurred. Now, I am not particularly well equipped with the logical frame of mind to deal with all of the implications of considering this issue, so I have picked Jared Diamond's brain and his suggestions as to why some societies make disastrous decisions:

1. There is a failure to anticipate a problem before the problem actually arrives - this may be because of lack of prior experience, or forgotten prior experience or false analogical thinking to familar experiences which are not related.
2. When the problem arrives, there is a failure to perceive the problem - the origins of the problem may be imperceptible, the problem may be concealed by wide fluctuations, or the managers may be too distant to perceive the problem.
3. The problem is perceived, but there is a failure to even try to solve it - there is a clash of interests, either long term/short termism, no stakeholder exists, or there is psychological denial.
4. The attempt to solve the problem fails - it is just too difficult and beyond present capabilities to solve, or too little is done too late.

I think these categories have as much relevance to individual decision making as they do to decision making at a group level. I'm going through my problems wiith this suggested map to identify what it is that is causing them. I suspect number 4 (in particular, 'beyond present capabilities to solve') or number 3 ('psychological denial') may be it...

9:54 PM |