Consider the consequences Janice B Gordon

Consider the consequencesBusiness is personal it is always personal! Part 2We have all been in situations when the consequence of a professional decision is that a member of the team takes the decision personally.  Business is personal it is always personal the difference is perspective! ‘The decisions that we make, can have consequences on the business beyond the area that is immediately impacted by the decision being made. An example of a decision I made in part 1 of this blog (Thursday 14th June); led to a unintended chain of events that resulted in the boss making a decision, the project termination and a loss of the potential profit, the termination of the contractors contracts including the bosses wife and the boss no-longer works for the company.Remember this is only my perspective of the facts.  The consequent decision the boss made could have been for professional reasons that were unbeknown to me; such as a change in financing or strategy. The result of the decision remains the same it is the perspective which is different!Another example of ‘causality’ or consequences to an action; the loss of customers when migrating them to a newer product could push them on to a competitor product, or cause them to change their purchase habits or could cause them to become dissatisfied and complain.To help think through the chain of events which could affected a decision, Ruth Winett in ‘The Unintended Consequences of Business decisions’, suggest asking the following questions:

  • What will be the effects of this course of action?
  • Who will be affected and to what extent will they be affected?
  • What is the likely effect on your customer relations, sales, and competitive position?
  • What are your alternatives?
  • What are the effects of these alternatives?
  • Which course of action is most beneficial and least harmful to your company?

Talk with your customers, employees, competitors, and industry experts to gain insight into how your decisions will affect different constituencies. Then, determine whether the change is worth the consequences. 

Taking a position that we do not know it all – I have always promoted the asking those people 1) affected by the decision (usually customers) and 2) those affecting the delivery (usually employees or suppliers), before making the decision to avoid unintended consequences.

What has been your experience?  What do you think?

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Janice B Gordon: The Problem Solver Business Growth Consultant, Mentor, Speaker and Author. Business Evolution – Creating Growth in a Rapidly Changing World will give you the guidance you need to evolve you and your business and exceed your customers wants and needs.

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