Decisions: Considering Alternatives

An ideal alternative perfectly fulfills every condition set for it without adding new difficulties. Unfortunately, ideal alternatives are rare. We must, therefore, evaluate each available alternative by measuring it against all of our objectives. It is the relative quality of that fit that concerns us.

If we must choose among several alternatives, we will have to decide which one will best fulfill our objectives with the smallest acceptable risk. In other words, we try to make a balanced choice. An alternative that best accomplishes the objectives but carries severe risks is not, after all, the best choice. Another alternative, perhaps less exciting but safer, may be the best balanced choice.

If there is only one alternative, we must decide whether it is good enough to accept. In this case our evaluation will focus on its relative worth compared with a perfect but unobtainable alternative.

If we must choose between a current and a proposed course of action, then we consider both to be alternatives. We evaluate their performance against our objectives just as we would if both had been proposed. Whatever is currently being done is, after all, an alternative; the choice is whether to continue that way or find another, better way.

If, in the absence of any alternative, we must create something new, we can usually build an alternative from available components. We then choose the best and most feasable combinations, treat each as a separate alternative, and evaluate all of them against an ideal model of an alternative.

My Consultancy–Asif J. Mir – Management Consultant–transforms organizations where people have the freedom to be creative, a place that brings out the best in everybody–an open, fair place where people have a sense that what they do matters. For details please visit www.asifjmir.com, Lectures, Line of Sight

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