Appreciate the situation.

It’s a golden oldie but the caution to avoid “situating the appreciation” was nicely summarised by Alastair Grant in 2010.

“There is a glitch with this process, and it’s called ‘Situating the Appreciation’. It goes like this: You start with a blank sheet of paper and full of good intentions apply logic objectively and without bias. Or that’s what you think. But as an expert you already know a great deal and it is hard to prevent your knowledge from weakening your impartiality.

So what happens is that deep down you think you already know the solution to the problem and the outcome that you desire. And without realising this you magnify the arguments that support your predicted or desired outcome, and the objections that logic throws up are painted into a corner and have reduced importance and visibility. I suspect that this happens often in business life and can be found to be the reason behind many fiascos.“

I reckon that fundamental caution was one of the things that contributed to the idea of setting up OughtWe – the decision support tool.

Author: John Salter Consulting Services

John Salter - owner of John Salter Consulting Services - specialising in the facilitation of risk-based capability reviews; needs-based training; business continuity planning; crisis management exercises; and organisational debriefing. Recognised for “preventing disasters, or where that is not possible, reducing the potential for harm” Ref: Barrister H Selby, Inquest Handbook, 1998. Distracted by golf, camping, fishing, reading, red wine, movies and theatre.

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