Getting some decisions right can be like searching for the Holy Grail. Being in a place where there are several viable options on offer is the ideal framework in which to be operating. Analysis of the options without being under pressure can follow, and any of those numerous Decision-Making models with their sophisticated marking schemes can kick in. In the real world we are often left with a dilemma.

In this context a dilemma is where you get to when most of the viable options have run out and a choice has to be made between two imperfect options. there is always a third option, that is to do nothing. There is also a fourth option beloved of politicians and those who put personal reputation at the heart of what they do. That is to invoke the pretend solution which involves doing next to nothing but heralding the decision as a triumph.

We are all faced with dilemmas from time-to-time and avoiding the kind of paralysis that leads to no choice being made is generally good practise. Soldiering on regardless can lead to being at the mercy of the winds with no sense of direction and precious little ability to set the tiller to a course other than survival.

Making the least worst choice from the two unpalatable options that form the dilemma is the superior survival strategy.

Percy Furniss who was the chairman of a substantial shipping company once said, “Often, it has not mattered what decision I have made, just that I made one”. He was not commenting on the generality of Decision-Making, he was confronting the reality of dealing with dilemmas.

In the final analysis what often matters is the wind that is put behind a decision rather than the ultimate quality of a decision that delivers.

In this situation, get your key people behind you and create a critical mass moving forward.

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