Harness the Power of Negativity to Make Successful Changes

Updated: Sep 23, 2020

Have you ever been involved implementing a decision that seemed doomed from the start? You were uneasy at the beginning because your gut told you that it just didn’t seem fully baked. And sure enough, two weeks and $XX,XXX later, the wheels were coming off. Meetings on top of meetings. Emails flying. Spreadsheets proving fault. And you had plenty of other things to do.

Well, there's good news. Using a simple group decision making tool can help to avoid, eliminate or mitigate undesired outcomes. Follow these easy steps to prevent wasting time and resources when implementing decisions by using a simple contingency test.

Begin by writing the proposed decision in the center of a circle on a flip chart. Ask participants tap into their inner negativity to identify potential problems which might occur with this decision. Do not discuss or analyze the problems at this point.

Next, encourage participants to identify ways to avoid, minimize or mitigate each potential problem. Come up with as many solutions as possible for each potential problem.

After this, determine which solutions must be incorporated into your decision action plan.

Using a simple contingency test taps into the innate human tendency to be negative, engages stakeholders in preventing problems before they happen, and increases confidence and commitment to the ultimate action plan. Start with being negative to get a positive result.

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