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Sometimes a Key Fact Alters the Decision
On occasion, one fact changes everything about how a leader views an opportunity or problem. This critical fact completely alters the context, understanding, or implication of a given decision. As a result of this critical fact, leaders make a different choice.
Consider learning about a natural disaster prior to booking a travel vacation, or a CEO departure prior to an investment, or learning about an unknown medical anomaly before a surgery, or a negative and non-negotiable clause in a contract. The introduction of a critical fact has the potential to alter the entire decision-making process by influencing the underlying factors, risks, or consequences associated with the decision.
We know we have uncovered a critical fact when upon learning it, our perspective instantly shifts. Without much discussion or thought, we know immediately that this critical fact has invalidated our previous assumptions, revealed hidden or unknown risks, or shifted our priority.
Critical facts change everything.
The popular process of Inverse Analysis is largely a method of finding one or more critical facts. By working backward from a desired outcome and determining the steps or conditions necessary to achieve it, critical facts often emerge that couldn’t be seen in the normal decision-making process.
Leaders never know when they might stumble on such a fact, but they are always on the lookout for them. In their desire to make a quality decision, good leaders presume there is one fact, yet uncovered, that will change everything about their thinking. They constantly hunt for just such a fact with the secret hope that they don’t find one.
Unfortunately, facts are stubborn and don’t disappear just because we don’t see them.
What critical fact are you missing? In retrospect, every bad decision is a direct result of something the decision-maker didn’t know. Good leaders do their very best to uncover the critical fact that will change their thinking.