Most decisions that backfire do so for two reasons: The people who must implement them aren’t involved in the decision-making; the decision fails to take into account the emotional needs and values of the customer (or anyone else impacted by the implementation).
These needs and values aren’t limited solely to the impact that the decision has on people. The impact of the decision on the environment and on the community the business resides in is also an important consideration.
A popular tool for mapping out who or what the decision impacts is a mind map (the brainchild of Tony Buzan, expert on the brain, memory, creativity, and innovation). Mind maps are incredibly useful because they help participants tap into both creative thinking and linear-logical thinking.
Mind maps graphically represent the various aspects of a topic. In the case of decision-making, they can bring the pieces of the puzzle or process into one visible picture.
To create a mind map of internal relationships, start by mapping out which staff or internal business units are involved (ask questions like “Which departments are required for implementation?” and “Who needs to handle sensitive issues?”). Then add maps to include the implications on those directly or indirectly affected by the decision.
Be sure to include social, emotional, and environmental impacts such as employment opportunities, a decrease in property values, the destruction of wildlife habitat, and so on. Such a map helps you see the relationships between different parts of the situation so that you can better prepare and build in ways to either reduce the risk of negative impact or devise a strategy for addressing it.