Changing Decisions  After They are Made

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A decision once made should never be considered final.  After all, making the decision is the first step in a sometimes lengthy process.   The other key step is the implementation of the decision.  Once started, the implementation takes on a life of its own. For example, during implementation, you will get results that either conform or deny your assumptions.   If the implementation activities are completed as planned, the decision is eventually implemented.   The rewards of the decision are then collected.  But between making the decision and completing the implementation, there is time for may unexpected things to happen which will call for new decisions involving changing either the plan or the direction of the decision.   Some changes will be motivated by the need to correct mistakes, fix erroneous assumptions, and respond to adverse acts of God.  Other changes will be motivated by the discovery of new opportunities to improve upon the original decision. 

As the implementation moves forward, The decision maker is afforded the chance to see the future that was only vaguely understood at the beginning.  Once the future reveals what the new environment in which the implementation must operate,  the implementation plan may need to be revamped to account for the new information.   

The decision-maker should consider all decisions as multi-period decisions, meaning that fine-tuning and improving a original decision should be considered all the time.  One should always be on the lookout for opportunities to improve the expected outcome of the initial decision.  Making a decision is like starting at the top of a pyramid and proceeding into progressively more sub-decisions as one proceeds through the steps of the implementation plan.  

One is better to start in the right direction (the decision), proceed only with the first few steps fully planned, and then adapt continually from there.  As the future continues to give results, each progressive stages can be planned based on the latest information.   The decision is considered implemented when the intent of the original decision plus all successive modifications are realized.  Some decisions are never completed as one phase leads to another.   Sometimes the thread of a decision is wound and intertwined with others.   Some decision become like a living entity, continually taking on new forms...a life form not unlike that of the decision-maker.     Some decisions are worthy of living forever, whereas some should have a quick death so that other better decisions can take their place. 

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Website last updated on 10/19/08
Copyright 2005 Charles W. Sooter.  All rights reserved.