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close this bookTraining for Elected Leadership - The Councillor as Decision-maker (HABITAT, 1994, 22 p.)
close this folderPart I. Essay on the councillor as decision-maker
View the documentDefinition
View the documentSummary
View the documentReflection
View the documentConcepts and ideas
View the documentBe rational!
View the documentProblem identification
View the documentAwareness and vision
View the documentReflection
View the documentProblems, symptoms and solutions
View the documentTalk to your problem
View the documentFurther analysis
View the documentQuality and acceptance
View the documentConsequences
View the documentWhat about group decision-making?
View the documentReflection
View the documentOther decision traps
View the documentMaking decisions in uncertainty
View the documentKey points
View the documentReferences

Further analysis

The set of questions just presented is an excellent way to get into problem or opportunity analysis. By answering these questions, you will not only gain information and insights that you will need to solve the problem (or tap the opportunity), you may very well decide that you don't want to, or need to, solve the problem at this time. In this case, the analysis has already led you to a conclusion, hopefully a logical one that you and others can live with.

If you've gone through this series of inquiries and still want to pursue the problem, one of the best ways we've found to analyse the situation further is to look at the forces that keep the problem from being solved and the forces that could be mobilized to solve it. There is a theory of problem-solving that states that any situation is kept in a state of quasi-stationary equilibrium by the driving and restraining forces in the field surrounding the situation (a force field). By adding more force to the driving forces or by diminishing or removing the restraining forces, it is possible to bring about the changes you desire. It's a simple exercise in problem analysis that works.

Once you have analysed the problem, or opportunity, to your satisfaction (remembering that you will probably never have all the data or information you want maker to make your decision), it is time to think about the options, or alternatives, you might have available to make your final decision. The force-field analysis is often helpful in surfacing options. For example, the best option may be one that removes one or more of the restraining forces and increases a driving force which has already been proved beneficial. As this suggests, the best option may include more than one sub-option or tactic as part of your overall strategy.