Decision Making is hard, OK.

decisionsToday I sit here with a relatively easy decision to make; what to write about in my blog post. I have thought about this for days – periodically, I wasn’t all consumed by this, but still something that has been nagging away at me while I try enjoy my weekend. It has led me to a simple conclusion: Decision making is hard. Now don’t get me wrong, I have read up about how to make this decision: I have been given a framework, a series of steps and some fancy graphs to help me out  ↓ See what I mean?

SDM

Yet here I am; stumped. I find myself writing down a bunch of words hoping it all comes together at the end as a cohesive unit, so that I can go out to dinner and enjoy what little is left of my weekend. Decision making is hard, OK.

I begin to understand the complexities and difficulty environmental decision makers are faced with every day. If my small (micro-problem?) decision can cause me so much grief where I am the only stakeholder, how difficult must it be to make a decision that could affect thousands or millions for decades to come (Macro-problem?). When they have stakeholders with such varying values each trying to tell you why there value is greater then another. Now I begin to realize, to see the benefit of a Structured Decision Making Process, of the fancy graphs. Without these mechanisms we can never hope to achieve the best outcome for the stakeholders or even come up with some semblance of the right decision and effective policy measures.

Decision making is hard, OK. But there are ways to ease the burden.

References

Gregory, R., Failing, L., Harstone, M., Long, G., McDaniels, T., and Ohlson, D. (2012). Structuring Environmental Management Choices. In: Gregory et al. (Eds). Structured decision making: a practical guide to environmental management choices. Wiley-Blackwell: Chichester (UK), pp. 1-20.

Dovers, S. and Hussey, K. (2005) Chapter 5: Problem framing. In: Environment and sustainability. Element 8. Federation Press.  

Opening Image : http://www.forbes.com/sites/brentbeshore/2014/12/22/how-we-make-decisions-and-how-to-make-them-better/#229991731e3a

Graph:  Gregory, R., Failing, L., Harstone, M., Long, G., McDaniels, T., and Ohlson, D. (2012). Structuring Environmental Management Choices. In: Gregory et al. (Eds). Structured decision making: a practical guide to environmental management choices. Wiley-Blackwell: Chichester (UK), pp. 1-20.