Decisions Take A Lot Of “Sight”

November 7, 2016       The NonProfit Times      

Decisions, decisions. How much easier would life be without having to make them? That’s a nice dream.

Anyway, nonprofit managers have to make decisions all the time, and that includes before, during and after the times when things go wrong.

During the Nonprofit Risk Management Center’s 2016 Risk Summit, Melanie Herman, Gaetana De Angelo and Eric Spacek of the Nonprofit Risk Management Center said that leaders do have resources to make the best possible decisions, and they are free and readily at hand.

Those resources rely on “sight,” and they are:

  • Hindsight. Drawing on an appreciation of the causes of outcomes from earlier events, whether those are considered successes or failures. The following can be considered after the event: What happened? Human or systemic, or both? Knee-jerk reaction or simple fix? Tough lessons/true causes. We will avoid a similar scenario in the future, by taking the following steps …
  • Insight. Forming an assessment of present conditions and, in particular, the effectiveness of those things the organization relies on to enable it to achieve its objectives: its controls.
  • Foresight. Challenging proposed actions and anticipating what might happen in the future (multiple views, not a single preferred vision of the future), and what that might lead to in terms of the effect on the organization’s objectives.