Paradox Pair #24: Reconsideration & Judgement

When we establish our methods and belief systems we should set an expiration on the choices we make, knowing that in a year’s time or two that revisiting our approach will be worthwhile.

Paradox Pair #24: Reconsideration & Judgement
Reconsideration & Judgement, James LaPlaine

We have explored the virtues of preparation and the value it creates when tackling unforeseen circumstances. We discussed the three-way balance of rigor, quality, and nuance and how feedback loops offset the resistance to necessary improvisation. In our comparison of what is novel and what is common we recognize the importance of establishing and adopting standards to help support stability and provide us a foundation for experimentation. Finally, we investigated the correlation between collaboration and empowering our peers, where outcomes are greater than the sum of the individual parts.

“The anxiety of living makes us want to judge, be sure, have a stance, definitively decide. Having a fixed, rigid system of belief can be a great relief.” -George Saunders

Knowing we have standards, for example, allows us to concentrate on the value-creating additions we use in our solution, rather than be distracted by revisiting choices we have already made. Yet at some point, every decision ought to be reconsidered, to be revalidated. We know that the landscape will change, new innovations should be evaluated, and we — as individuals — will have grown and learned from our past efforts. When we establish our methods and belief systems we should set an expiration on the choices we make, knowing that in a year’s time or two that revisiting our approach will be worthwhile. The exact time horizon will vary depending on the domain. We may find, upon review, that our choices are revalidated and no change is necessary — even then, the process of reconsideration is valuable and renews our conviction in our chosen path. Time-bounding our choices provides clarity, we now know when we will next revisit our decisions and we can focus on building over debating. This has the added benefit of moving what tends to be a reflexive response to a rational one, from being judgmental to applying good judgement.