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Context Matters: Decisions Are Not Made in a Vacuum

by | Feb 21, 2019 | Business

Take Back Control

The notion of absolutes has all but disappeared from modern culture, whether in business and law, or social, educational and political realms. Today, decision-making centres not on black or white or right and wrong, but on variables that consider maximum benefit and minimum disruption. We seek to understand motives; we deal with situations about a wider sphere. Local decisions can have global effects.

It’s a question of context, and it matters.

Define the Context

Much of the time, business decisions focus on boosting efficiency and increasing profits. However, those goals may be rooted in variable circumstances.

Has a disappointing quarterly report prompted the need for reorganisation or streamlined procedures? Does the loss of a critical executive present an opportunity to redefine long-term goals and modernise policies? Have you experienced a product crisis or a security breach that requires immediate action?

Critical Insights

Experience and training inform every decision. Interpreting meaning is a nuanced skill of taking past expertise and applying it in the context of the current challenge. To make the best decisions possible, a good leader seeks first to understand all the aspects of the present setting, because, in a contextual vacuum, judgments fail. That needs input from others to build on company culture and experience, and inform a broader context.

Can you think of other ways to approach vital decisions?

Clarity of Purpose

A business culture that encourages new ideas is well-situated to approach problem-solving logically and creatively. The goal is to find and implement the best possible solutions in each circumstance and to respond effectively and quickly.

Review every decision in light of contextualised performance. The evaluation of each action may lead to necessary adjustments as new input is received. That’s healthy, and it hones the skills needed too.

Certainty of Action

The way you and your team analyse, consider and implement business solutions will differ dramatically from one scenario to the next. Decision-making is an ongoing process, in business and life.


Written by: William Buist - all rights reserved.