Sunday, December 30, 2007

Head or heart?

A few months ago, a friend of a friend had to make a very difficult decision, and afterward was publicly questioning it in her blog, in a post titled "Head Versus Heart". (Her name is Roz Savage, and she had been rowing, solo, from California to Hawaii.) This motivated me to compile a summary of the various decision making models that I had been studying over the past few years, to share with her.

Some of my letter to her:

...In my opinion, the simple answer is, for complex decisions like you faced recently, use both the head and the heart. Use a structured approach that helps you look at all the important factors from multiple perspectives.

The attached mind map shows the broad steps of a number of decision making models. (To read a mind map, start from the upper right main branch and go clockwise.) You will notice many similarities among them. They typically start by gathering objective data, then subjective data, then developing both obvious and creative solutions, and filtering them through your goal and value systems. It is my hope that grouping these all together in the mind map makes it easy to compare, and to identify similarities and differences...
I've sometimes felt that I've made decisions haphazardly, and that I may have had better outcomes if I'd taken a more organized approach. I am hoping that by comparing these models, I may gain some wisdom to guide my future decision making processes .

I will be writing a series of posts, each focusing on a different aspect of decision making, or a different model.

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