Different situations impact the way we make decisions. To illustrate this point, if you’re trying to lose weight, you generally only have to consider your own motivations. For instance you have to work out how to reduce the desires that get in your way, like wanting to eat fatty foods.
In contrast, if you’re marketing and trying to persuade strangers to buy from you, considerations are very different. You’re not in direct control of what others do, you can only encourage and influence, and so there is an extra level of complexity to how you make your own decisions.
The Cynefin framework provides five decision-making contexts;
Simple (has recently changed to obvious),
which helps managers identify how they may perceive situations and make sense of their own and other people’s behaviour.
The Cynefin framework is based on research from systems theory, complexity theory, network theory and learning theories according to Wikipedia.
It has been used by its IBM developers in policy-making, product development, market creation, supply chain management, brand and customer relations. As well as by governments and the military along with health care research by the NHS.
If you don’t know where you are, if you feel lost, you are probably in the domain of disorder. Within the domain of disorder, there is no clarity about which of the other domains apply to your current situation.
You may experience multiple perspectives, that could all equally be valid. “Leaders may argue with one another and cacophony likely rules”, says Snowden and Boone.
To find a way out of this domain, you must break down the situation into its constituent parts and assign each to one of the other four realms.
First gather information, then identify the domain and move on.
Don’t fall into the trap of believing everything is simple and ordered, or that past success makes you invulnerable to future failure. This is a big mistake, because before you know it, the chaotic domain will drag you into a crisis.
When the s**t hits the fan and all hell breaks loose, the first response is instinctive, the freeze, flight or fight response kicks in. It’s our primordial response for self preservation.
In this domain, cause and effect is unclear, and too confusing for knowledge based responses. In fact, previous knowledge and experience is only partially useful in chaotic situations.
Remove yourself from danger, in the first instance, try to regroup and do what you can to move from the chaotic domain into the complex domain, using novel practice if you have to.
ACT really…trust your instinct….get out of the immediate danger zone
SENSE once out of the immediate danger zone, assess the situation and determine your next steps.
RESPOND take action to move your problem to another domain
In this domain, the relationship between cause and effect is only possible through retrospective analysis. It’s a case of the truth being out there somewhere. There are no right answers, as such, we can draw only instructive patterns from them. The best way to navigate in this domain is through trial and error, via experimentation.
We often have to engage in emerging practice, where the path will be created with every step taken. It’s a case of testing as you go and seeing what works and what doesn’t, and learning from your failures.
The complex domain represents the “unknown unknowns”.
I was introduced to the concept of complexity when reading “Brave new work by Aaron Dignan”, where he discusses how companies can become more “adaptive and human” by becoming more “complexity conscious.”
Let’s assume you’re a marketer who wants prospects to buy your product. What do you need to do to get them to act? You can only encourage them to buy from you if you match their buying criteria. You must present your offer in a way that compels them to make a purchase. It’s important to realise that it’s not under your complete control, as with your own actions. If they like what they see, they may buy from you, providing the price is right, they trust you and you’ve given them enough reasons to part with their hard earned money.
RESPOND take action moving the problem into the complicated domain
In the complicated domain, the relationship between cause and effect may consist of a range of right answers, rather than just one. It requires some expertise to navigate in this domain, like you would find with engineers, surgeons and lawyers. It’s the domain of known unknowns.
You’re looking for an expert to show you the best way.
You can make use of a blueprint to get from A to B.
It’s a case of 1 + 1 =2
SENSE the problem
ANALYZE the problem and roadmaps
RESPOND with a plan
In the simple/obvious domain, the relationship between cause and effect is clear cut: if you do X, you can expect Y to happen. It’s the domain of the known knowns.
Snowden and Boone (2007) offer the example of loan-payment processing. An employee identifies the problem, for example, a borrower has paid less than required, the employee categorises it, by reviewing the loan documents, and responds by following the terms of the loan.
It is the domain of the 1 way solution. A simple case of 1 + 1 = 2
SENSE the situation. Establish the facts.
CATEGORISE the situation into a known bucket
RESPOND with a well-known solution, following the rules or applying best practice.
Sometimes you can move through these domains, other times a particular decision lives in just one. The main takeaway is to understand that all problems are not equal and that different approaches are required for different situations.
The status quo seems to have around it some kind of gravity force, which holds us back from moving away from it, towards our goals.
It’s the duel force of fear and anxiety which comes along with the uncertainty of what might lay ahead, particularly when we’re doing something different or new.
It’s so much easier to play safe and stick with our current routine. In our present situation or circumstance we know what to expect, and we know we can deal with most eventualities. There is nothing too scarey to worry about.
Humans don’t deal well with change, it’s fear inducing to trample unexplored territory. There are too many monsters lurking in the darkness, metaphorically speaking.
Our survival instincts have conditioned our brains to avoid anomaly and change at all costs, and the easiest way to do this is to play it safe. Do what we know and keep doing it as long as we can.
At the same time, we like to experience good surprises, like the unexpectedly win or gain of something we value. So uncertainty is good as long as it’s a promise of good.
So wandering away from the status quo is possible, providing we have something positive enough to aim for.
All change has within it, potential, which can be either good or bad. There are risks and dangers, as well as possibilities and opportunities.
We have to find a positive reason to make change, and we have to have the vision of a better alternative than the one we are currently experiencing.
We also have to believe that the cost of not pursuing our goals will deliver such regret that we just won’t be able to bear it in the years to come. This kind of fear propels us forward, rather than holds us back.
Finding the motivation to take action is all about shifting mindset. It’s about hacking the way we think, from something that holds us hostage, into something that opens us up to a new, exciting way forward.
If you want something enough, you’ll find a way, if not, then maybe you just didn’t want it enough.
Having direction, gives meaning in life and results in positive emotion.
What should be? We’ll call it point B.
What is? We’ll call it point A.
How to transform A to B.
Be the Hero that voluntarily goes into the unknown, to learn what needs to be learned to convert A to B.
Be brave enough to deal with the dragon of fear and bring back the treasure that you find there, to improve your society for the good of all.
In a nutshell, this means being a problem solver. Start by solving your own problems; figure out what’s holding you back from the life you’d rather be living, and find a way of conquering them. Whether it be fear of failure, fear of disappointment, fear of being conflicted, lack of self-confidence, if you’re not where you want to be, something is holding you back.
Once you’re able to deal with your own problems on an ongoing basis, you can use the same principles that have helped you, for the benefit of other people. You will then be a master problem-solver, the Hero that goes out to slay the dragon of chaos and brings order to disorder, time and again.
Let’s assume you want to start your own business, and someone close to you tells you to stick it out where you currently are. After all, you’ve got a regular pay check, you know what you’re doing, you get on with colleagues, and you’re comfortable and safe.
They want to protect you, they don’t want you to suffer because they love you. This resonates with you because the same conflict is going on inside your head.
Doubts are designed to warn you of the potential dangers you may face and paying attention to them is wise. But it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go ahead, it just means your plan needs to keep the pitfalls in mind, to mitigate them as much as possible.
The unknown is uncomfortable and exciting at the same time.
You feel alive because there is uncharted territory ahead, it’s a natural reaction, in the same way as a surprise or something unexpected grabs your attention from the slumber of your familiar routine. We have evolved to pay attention to change, to different, to new, because they are unknown.
The unknown has significance. Suddenly there is uncertainty, and risk, and you need to pay attention to it in case it hurts you. But don’t quit because of it. You can’t do anything different or new without encountering some level of unknown.
As well as paying attention to the possible dangers, give thought to the opportunities and possibilities that come out of change. You become more by experiencing more. Even failure can be a great teacher, so don’t fear it, just plan to mitigate it where possible.
The status quo is a lie, change is inevitable, whether you accept it our not. Face change, deal with change, take advantage of change.
Be a predator of chance rather than a victim of circumstance.
Reading quotes helps reshape beliefs and these are the foundation of motivation.
They can make a big difference in any journey for success.
Motivation is often the very thing that gets blocked and prevents you trying for your goals and dreams.
To take action you must be motivated, and to be motivated you must have congruent beliefs;
#1 – This is what you want, and
#2 – You can do it.
If either of these beliefs are absent from your belief system, you won’t take action.
Well formed quote graphics can help you look at your situation in a different way, to think about it from a different perceptive, to inspire you to take action. It helps you create a different story, or a different narrative on an old story.
A different story, analogy or metaphor, alongside an open mind can reshape or sidestep those disempowering beliefs, which are holding you back.
The first disempowering belief many of us are guilty of holding, is…
“I can’t do this!”
Or some variation of this such as..
“I don’t have the experience!”
“I don’t have the resources!”
Here are a few quotes from Jim Rohn to help you out of this mindset.
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Are you a nurse or carer emotionally overwhelmed with the current situation? Or are you someone forced to stay at home and watching from the sidelines, struggling to deal with the pain, suffering and loss of others?
Just a slight digression for a moment, I’d like you to think about the following scenario…..
If you saw a person (male or female) keep head butting a wall then complaining they have a massive headache, what would you say to them? What advice would you give them? Please consider this before reading on.
Back to your suffering and feelings of being emotionally overwhelmed, about the current situation. You’re getting upset that people are struggling and even dying, not just because those things are happening, but largely because you believe that others shouldn’t have to suffer. But this is not possible, death and illness are part of life, this is the way it has always been and will always be. None of us will escape the clutches of death, and will inevitably be ill at some point of our lives.
Holding onto the belief “people should not suffer”, creates an expectation/preference that can never be fulfilled, and will only bring suffering to the person that holds onto that way of thinking. It is metaphorically like banging your head against a wall. Instead shift your mindset. If dealing with sick patients, be grateful you can ease their suffering to some degree or help their passing be more tolerable. Grateful you are well enough to do be able to care for them in some way. If you were not there for them, their situation would be so much worse.
One final point I need to make, the difference between you and the person head butting the wall is that your suffering comes out of caring about others, not just as a result of some mindless act of self-harm. The fact you care so much, is in itself, something to be immensely proud of. Caring people make for a better world to live and die in. So keep caring, but don’t suffer for your caring. Take joy from your priceless assistance, we love you for it, and so do those you look after.
Beliefs and the values that stem from them are conditioned into us as we grow up, by the society we live in, by the family we are closest to and any other influential parties we are exposed to in our lives.
Many such beliefs exist outside of conscious awareness within our subconscious knowledge pool. They affect every decision we make, often without us realising they are doing so.
While some beliefs serve us, there are many more that don’t. It’s important we improve self-awareness so that we can uncover subconscious counterproductive beliefs, thoughts and behaviours. These may include..
Habitual thoughts and thought patterns
“The subconscious is motivated by emotion.” Anything you have a strong feeling or emotional response to passes into the subconscious. This is how phobias are formed, a strong emotional reaction to a very unpleasant event is anchored into the subconscious. Also wishing for something with deep emotion (positive or negative) can be embedded in the subconscious.
Habits are formed through repetition, good habits or bad habits can be either habits of thought or habits of behaviour. Break the underlying belief that formed them, and which continues to hold them in place, and you can break the habit. Bad habits are usually best removed by forming good habits to replace them.
Looking under the hood of BELIEFS
BELIEFS are generally built on shaky foundations. Often based on nothing more than ASSUMPTIONS and INFERENCES, rather than EVIDENCE and FACTS.
Think about the strongly held beliefs you hold. Where did they come from?
We might take the testimony of experts as fact, but in reality we don’t know if we’re being deceived and lied to, because of some hidden agenda, that we’re not privy to.
My own experience, is peppered with examples of being deceived by authority figures and so-called experts who subsequently were found to be profiteering from me following their advice, without providing any real value for me, a case of smoke and mirrors. It happened to me when I first started investing in stocks and shares, trusting stock analysts and regulators, many of whom where exposed during the 2007-2008 financial crash. Be very wary about putting money into anything based on what people tell you. Do your own due diligence first, always.
So if expert testimony can’t be entirely trusted, and I include the media, politicians and big businesses in this, what can you believe, other than your own first hand experience.
Can you believe what a friend of a friend tells you, or your parents, or your colleagues?
Well you have to be the judge, but what I would say is question everything. Ask “How do you know?”, “Where is the proof?”. An healthy skepticism is always a good thing. Don’t be rushed into making a decision, if someone insists you decide now, walk away.
From BELIEFS come VALUES, which are the things we judge as being important to us, in which we invest a sense of ourselves. By selected these values we also infer their opposites, our dislikes, pet peeves and such.
What we deem as relevant and important to us, shapes what we pay attention to. As a result our PERCEPTIONS and PERSPECTIVE are greatly influenced by BELIEFS and VALUES. As are our EXPECTATIONS, ATTACHMENTS, JUDGMENTS, LIKES and DISLIKES, REACTIONS and EMOTIONS.
BELIEFS and VALUES are the foundation of how we live our lives, so it’s vitally important to ensure they are well founded and grounded.
Any beliefs that helps us move closer to achieving our goals are generally okay, but beliefs that hold us back, need addressing.
Get out of your own way
Fears, self-doubts, insecurities, expectations and preferences are getting in the way, they are closing up the channel, blocking the bandwidth. It’s time to leave the prison of the mind. It’s not a matter of gaining anything, in fact it’s about losing everything that is cluttering up your life and stopping you achieving your GOALS.
Do you believe death is the end, that there is nothing more once we die? If so, the thought of death might fill you with dread.
Alternatively, If you believe that after death, your spirit goes to be with the spirits of deceased family members, who you love and miss, you might look forward to the prospect of death.
Both these are thoughts. Which ever version you believe to be true, determines your feeling about the consequences of death. Fear or anticipation. You have no way of knowing which version is true ahead of time. Yet which ever you believe, has an impact on your life and how you live it.
It colours the background of your life, maybe resulting in a feeling of fear or worry in the back of your mind, that is always there. Many spiritualist believe the fear of death is a major part of the human condition and the reason people struggle with dealing with the Ego (self preservation part of the mind).
Let’s look at another common debate, the debate about whether life is on your side versus life is constantly testing you.
Do you believe that life is looking to support your endeavours and successes or do you believe life is designed to test and challenge you, so you grow? Or do you believe life is just a fluke and there is no purpose, rhyme or reason to it? It’s just a random occurrence and we make things up as we go along. Again which belief you fall behind, will have an impact on the way you live your life, the emotions you feel and how you deal with setbacks. Can you not enjoy your successes because you’re waiting for things to go wrong? Or do you feel you have the power of the Universe behind your efforts, the Universe is working to help you?
Okay, let’s consider your beliefs about people. Are people inherently good or bad? Or are people a mixture of both, capable of great feats, amazing accomplishements and acts of kindness and altruism? While also being capable of selfishness, destructiveness and the capacity to carrying out monstrous acts of devastation to fellow human beings, animals and the planet.
Let’s consider your beliefs around your government. Are your government acting to secretly enslave the population or are they doing the best they can for the good of the country and its people?
On a more personal level, are you capable of whatever you set your mind to or are you not really very good at anything?
Are your beliefs generally more positively or negatively orientated?
Are you a glass half full or half empty person?
Are you always striving for more, wanting more and better or grateful for, and contented with, what you have in the here and now?
Sure we’ve covered a lot of different areas of life here, but the underlying thing behind each of these, are your beliefs, what you believe to be true or not.
Beliefs are generally held with some level of faith or certainty. You have to believe it to be true, for it to be a belief.
The power in this little word can not be understated. Beliefs shape everything you do, how you interpret incoming stimuli, the meaning you give to it. What you pay attention to and what you choose, either on a conscious or subconscious level, to ignore or filter out.
Beliefs are used to judge what is good or bad, what should be pursued and what should be avoided.
You must question your beliefs, bring some conscious thought to how they work in you. Question them, where did they come from, what are their intentions?
You’ll find that many beliefs are driven by fear, they come from the instinctive, self preservation part of the mind, that is doing its best to keep you safe and well. It’s very good at what it was designed to do.
The secret is to use your intellect, the rational part of your mind, to control the instinctive part of your mind. Don’t let irrational fear drive your actions or dictate your thoughts and emotions. Take back control!