Holistic Decision-Making | Context Checks Summary

Here is a concise summary of the Context Checks to support you practice Holistic Decision-Making.

The Context Checks:

1. Cause and effect.

Will this action address the root cause of the problem? Ask yourself “what is really going on here?”

2. Weak Link.

• Social: Have I/we considered and/or addressed any confusion, anger or opposition this action could create with people whose support I/we will need in the near or distant future? Ask yourself “Could we upset our future resource base? Can we avoid it?”

• Biological: Does this action address the weakest point in the life cycle of this organism?

• Financial: Does this action strengthen the weakest link in the chain of production?

3. Greatest return on investment (comparing two or more actions).

For each additional unit of time or money I/we invest, which action provides the greatest return toward my/our holistic context? Ask yourself “What will give me/us the biggest bang for my/our buck?”

4. Gross profit analysis (comparing two or more enterprises).

Which enterprise/s contribute the most to covering the overheads of the business?

5. Energy/money source and use.

Is the energy or money used in this action derived from the most appropriate source in terms of my/our holistic context? Will the way energy or money be used lead toward my/our holistic context? Ask yourself “Is this an appropriate source of energy/money, now, and is this an appropriate way to use it, now? Can I/we be more inspired?”

6. Sustainability.

If I/we take this action, will it lead us toward or away from the future resource base described in my/our holistic context? Ask yourself “Do we seem to be headed in the right direction?”

7. Gut Feel.

Considering all the other checks and my/our holistic context how do I/we feel about this action now? Will it lead us toward the quality of life we desire? Will it adversely affect the lives of others? This is very much a feeling checking question. Let your emotions have a say. Ask yourself “what is my gut feeling?”

A final word on the context checks

Practice, practice, practice…..

Using the context checks might feel awkward at first and with practice, the checking will become second nature. Our goal is to build muscle in the decision-making practice and the checking questions. Remember we learn more from our failures than we do our successes, and imperfect action is better than perfect inaction. Heading in the direction we want to regardless of how perfect it is, is preferable to going nowhere or away from what we desire.