Unintended Consequences, How to Reduce Them.

Unintended consequences, we all experience them just about every day of our life.  Most are minor maybe you don’t even notice them, some have a major impact on our life.  Of course there can be good or bad consequences.  I’m talking about the ones that have a negative impact.

You make a decision, take action and then something happens because of that action that you never expected to happen or intended to have happen.

It’s almost a law of nature, like the law where every flat surface will collect stuff (at least at my house). I guess it’s part of Murphy’s Law.

I think a lot of people especially inexperienced people use unintended consequences as an excuse, a way to rationalize bad decisions.

Unintended consequences can be reduced by simply taking the time to learn and understand how things work.

In business if you understand the process, understand your internal influences and external influences, understand the participants in the process, their expectations and how they think, you can predict with a great amount of accuracy the consequences of your decisions.

You have to understand how your actions will affect everyone downstream and make your decisions taking into consideration the impact and reaction you will get from those affected.

How do you learn and understand all of this?  By experience, doing it and living it.

You can’t just act based on how it will fulfill your immediate needs.

It’s unprofessional and immature and not good for business.

I have witnessed decisions made by immature managers that brought them some quick and marginal sales.  It got their manager off of their back for a while.

But the unintended consequences or I should say not thought out consequences ended up hitting the company with double if not triple the cost in terms of time and money.

And I’ve watched them shrug their shoulders and say unintended consequences.  Just like a child who has broken a window while throwing a baseball in the house. They look at you shrugs their shoulders and says “I didn’t know that would happen”.

Well now they do.

The big question is tomorrow do they get up and start throwing the ball around in the house?

© Otis P Smith and About the Groove, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Otis P Smith and About the Groove with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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