Choice paralysis and decision facilitation

My friend Dennis White recently said to me: “We have Pay TV and yet we seem to spend a lot of time flicking through the channels trying to find something too watch. I have this theory that if you have a lot of choice then you expect you should be able to find something really interesting and you’re not willing to settle for something less than expectation. When you only have 4 channels you will usually pick something. That’s on top of the paralysis that develops when one is faced with too much choice.”

The more choices we have, the higher our expectation of finding the perfect gem. And seemingly with that higher expectation, the greater our disappointment.

I reckon one of the next up and coming in-demand professional skills will have to be: the ability to help businesses (or individuals) make choices.

This would involve understanding the business’ or person’s needs, knowing who they are and what they stand for, identifying and shortlisting the most appropriate set of choices, presenting the most relevant choices, and guiding the selection of the best one. This requires a combination of different skills: understanding and empathy, research and analysis, strategy and planning, imagination, teaching and enlightening, coaching and mentoring. Behold the rise of the Decision Facilitator…

Oh wait, all that sounds remarkably like what many designers, problem-solvers, advisors and counsellors do already. Perhaps it is time for those in these industries to think and market themselves somewhat outside of the norm?

One comment

  1. businessmodel innovation _ design » Choice paralysis and decision facilitation said:

    [...] This would involve understanding the business’ or person’s needs, knowing who they are and what they stand for, identifying and shortlisting the most appropriate set of choices, presenting the most relevant choices, and guiding the selection of the best one. This requires a combination of different skills: understanding and empathy, research and analysis, strategy and planning, imagination, teaching and enlightening, coaching and mentoring. Behold the rise of the Decision Facilitator… via eicolab.com.au [...]

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