According to renowned Stanford Professor of International Management James G March, our decisions come from one of two places:

Identity; or Consequence.

And which one is at play is hugely important.  It's the difference between being proactive or reactive; between being strategic or tactical.

March's work looked at the psychology of organisations and how we make decisions in an organisational context.

So when we're...

...making decisions from identity it's a combination of the culture and values of the organisation blended with our own.  

And, likewise, when we're acting out of consequence it's both the consequences for our organisation and for ourselves.  

As with all things...

...we need a balanced approach.  We can't act totally out of our identity and values with no regard at all for the consequences.  

But, then again, acting to avoid consequence without any reference to how it will impact on the things that are important to us and our team is to risk disaster.

For example...

...taking a short-term view and pursuing an opportunity for making a quick buck to the long-term detriment of our brand, might be the wrong decision. 

Unless, perhaps, we're desperate for the cash and the business would crash without it.   

As they say...

...the first rule of long-term planning is to ensure there is along term!



Next time you have a big decision to make, check in: 

Are you coming from a place of identity or a place of consequence?   

If you're ...

...coming from identity, does it also take into account the immediate consequences?

And if you're more focussed on consequences, what are the long-term implications? 

Whichever way...'re approaching your decision-making process, make sure you're balancing the short-and long-term outcomes to optimum effect.