THE FOCCUSSED DECISION MAKER: TERRY BRESNICK AND OMAR PERIU
Making decisions can take quite a long time when it involves buying a car, a new home, deciding to change jobs or even just buying an air conditioner. Decisions come in all shapes and sizes as some are more crucial than others. Authors Terry Bresnick and Omar Periu have written a book that everyone, including this reviewer, can use to help them make important decisions but first you need to understand the definition FOCCUSSED Decision Making and much more. I hate making decisions too when it involves buying large ticket items. But, in the past month I had to make a medical decision and receiving this book just before making my final choice as to what medical procedure would be the best one for me, I decided to read this book and get a better handle on making the decision and hoping that I did not risk making a bad one knowing that I was the only one in a sense that had a stake in the decision but making it would present many uncertainties as to the outcome, aftercare and much more. On page 13 the authors begin with defining a Good Decision and as they state it is:
The cost of making a bad decision might be professionally, momentarily high: More than one person may have a stake in the decision and their response to the goals and values may conflict with each other: When we make a decision in the present , we are certain about how events will unfold in the future—we don’t have the luxury of knowing what will happen with certainty. Here lies all of the problems but how to solve them is focused on in this book which includes in-depth strategies, case studies that focus on the method of solving this problem and making a well defined and definite decision and understanding that the decision has three pillars: Preferences, Alternatives and information. Step one; defining a good decision that’s if you made one! First you need to read page 15 and decide the definition of a good and bad decision and the outcomes. Read the case studies on page 16 to further help you: I DID!
Like everyone sometimes you have a decision that you really need to think about and the outcome is one that could change or affect your life and here is where FOCCUSSED Decision Making Really helped with a medical decision and procedure that I had to have. F: means you have to Frame the problem and make sure that you the person that has to make this decision are addressing the RIGHT PROBLEM and you understand the scope of the DECISION.
O: Objectives: you need to know and understand the objectives and values that you want to achieve.
C: Choices: Here is where this method really kicked in for me: by Developing creative, meaningful alternatives to address the decision
C: Consequences: VITAL: You need to identify the possible outcomes, good and bad that may happen after making the decision.
U: Uncertainty: this is : I had to think about how likely the events or in this case the end result that can determine the pros and cons of the future consequences
S: Swap: Consider my willingness to take one objective or consequence for another
S: Solutions: Once I made the good decision I had to develop a man to implement my solution
E: Elicitation of Data: I made my decision by more meaningful and productive with strong inputs to the decision
D: Dissemination: Communicating my decision to others clearly and effectively.
Step One: get a large pad and pen: On each page write one of the major steps in creating your decision: frame the decision problem which means you as I did need to define the problem and identify the constraints that might limit your choices and as the authors state Laying out the assumptions that you are making in your analysis setting the stage for making a quality decision. The rest of the chapter maps it out quite explicitly and presents case studies, explains problem analysis and more including creating a vision statement , defines stakeholder issue Identification matrix and a decision hierarchy followed by case studies. Chapters 3 and four focus on understanding objectives and values plus the hardest part for me creating choices. What choices in this case were available to me to create a well informed decision about this medical procedure. Identifying the consequences is vital before making any decision you need to weigh the good vs. the bad. What will happens if an outcome occurs? This chapter explains it in detail and continues with several case studies that you can follow throughout the book as the authors shift to incorporating uncertainty and then making swaps and tradeoffs which I found extremely helpful since I had to decide which of three procedures would work for me and the three basic truths about decision making discussed in page 143: Some things are more important than others. We usually can’t get everything we want. We often have to give up one thing to get another. Selecting solutions is not easy and the first seven chapters was spent on teaching everyone how to be FOCCUSSED decision makers and they provided what they describe as a roadmap of how to meet the challenges. By focusing on the analytical or technical side of the decision making process. You need to also look at what appears to be the best solution and hopefully try to make it even better. We need to know when to stop analyzing and start implementing solutions. These points are discussed in detail in Chapter 8. The hardest part for me was to make that decision and then implement a solution. Page 163 helped by drafting a vision statement, framing the key issues and identifying the stakeholders, which included not just me. Reviewing the strategy table and the choices to be considered, identifying and evaluating value measures, conducting swaps and trades and finally gathering data. Chapter 9 continues with eliciting data and making that all-important decision and then Chapter 10 disseminating and communicating your decisions. To make sure you have it all down and are well prepared the authors summed it all up in Chapter 11 and added several extra appendices to further help readers.
Take that pad and pen and check out what you have written plus reread the main focus points, understand the graphs, tables and case studies presented and make your decision. This book is great for any type of decision and the case studies are each unique to the chapters but the ones that helped me the most were : Maddie and Mike and the first one where Terry and Andrea were dealing with the air conditioner problem. Did I finally decide on the procedure thanks to the chapter of trade offs and swaps and truly understanding the end result and the consequences and writing and framing the decision I finally realized which of the three choices was best. Thanks to Terry Bresnick and Omar Periu before we decide to buy a new air conditioner that’s next I will use the book as a valuable resource. A great resource for not only buying something, deciding on a new business, whether to change careers or just who to hire for a job, this book will remain on my shelf as a constant reminder of how I became and you can too become a FOCCUSSED DECISION MAKER.
Fran Lewis: Just reviews/MJ magazine