Have you ever made a decision that looked like the best thing since sliced bread when you made it, but came back to bite you 6 months later?  We have all made those decisions and sadly, continue to do so.

Is there any technique and/or tool that can help us avoid the bite?  The Three I’s may help.

The Three I’s provide a method for looking at decisions from a whole systems perspective.  The first I stands for Implications.  Ask yourself, “What are the potential short-term (0 to 6 months) implications of this decision?”  Think about the “whole system” – your entire business, etc. and brainstorm a list.

The second I requires you to look at Interrelationships.  Who and what will be affected by this decision today, tomorrow and in the future?  Who in the organization will be affected, front-line employees, managers, etc.?  What systems, work processes, policies and procedures will be affected?

The third I is Impact.  What will be the long-term impact (6 months to 3 years)?  Will employees need to be terminated, will new investments be required to support the decision, will the decision support the company’s strategic plan?

Every decision has short-term implications, involves interrelationships, and has long-term impact.  Think through the Three I’s to help escape those butt-biting decisions.


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