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Decision Making for Lay Members

Goal Modelling for Lay Members is for people who may be facing complex business decisions for the first time. It contains a basic, practical set of tools and advice on selecting good strategic objectives, making good business and personal decisions.

You may be a patient or service user representative in a public sector programme, workers' rep on a company Board, co-opted committee member or non-exec.  You are likely to be brought into an established business group to add 'life experience' to the business expertise.

Here we have some useful tools and techniques to help you. We'll show you how to use them in practice and offer suggestions that work in an organisation and at a personal level. 

Reasons for writing this

I created Goal Modelling as a toolkit for young people who are facing their first big decisions with not a lot of practical help.

The more I thought about it though, the more I realised that there are plenty of older, wiser people out there who would also appreciate a few pointers. ‘Public Engagement’ is a big thing these days. Firms want to involve their customers, Government wants the public and Service Providers want Service Users.

They will all be keen to treat you fairly, to get you to play a full and active part. Quite right, you’re not there just to be rolled out as the token user representative. However, they may not have the time or funds to bring you up to speed with the professionals in the room. And you might not have the time, patience or interest to let them. You’ve got better things to do with your time.

The phrase, “What’s it worth?” is going to appear with irritating regularity throughout this site so the first thing I have to do is justify myself. Life is full of decisions and the self-help bookshelves are full of narrow focused specialised stuff. What’s missing is a basic, practical set of tools that help you make a good choice in the first place, something that answers the question, “What’s it worth?”

I think this site is going to help. That is why you should read it, that’s what it’s worth.

What’s in it for the reader?

The words goal, objective, aim, all mean similar things. Here I use ‘goal’ throughout to be consistent and use it to mean a result with a worthwhile purpose.

We all have goals, some we know, some we don’t. Our lives revolve around the way each other’s goals mix. The things we do contribute something good or bad to our goals. They also contribute to the goals of others. Others, similarly, affect our goals. Whether your goals are personal or organisational, the same method and tools apply. Managing our goals splits into two key sets of activity of selection and maintenance. It’s a matter of picking the right thing to do and doing it well. It’s effectiveness and efficiency, policy and performance, strategy and tactics. 

What this site is

A set of tools and guidance to help people make better decisions at any level, from the personal choices to corporate strategy.

I’ve tried to put all this into a rational sequence of things to know. First you have to see how much time you’ve got in which to make your decisions. Then there are the different sorts of goals for different people, good, poor, even down-right weird. The benefits that come from these goals won’t necessarily come to you so you have to have a good idea who the benefits are actually for. We’ll look at the methods to help you make good decisions. Finally, I’ll show you lots of places to apply what you learn here.

I want you to make good decisions that get good results (for your own definition of ‘good’).  

What it isn't

Mandatory, no-one's going to make you use this. Pick the bits you feel work best for you.

Guaranteed, the final decisions you make are yours alone. This isn't a silver bullet that kills your monsters and it isn't an excuse to abdicate your responsibilities.

What’s in it for the author?

If I can say what’s in it for you then the obvious question is going to be, “What’s in it for me?” I'd like to say fame and fortune but I'm not that deluded. It's going on my c.v. and it won't do my professional reputation any harm. So, yes there is something in it for me.

I hope I'm not being completely selfish though. I believe these ideas are worth sharing. This is my contribution to doing some good in the world. It may not be much but I know that many of you will apply it in better ways and do far more good than I ever could.

Now you have an idea what I think this site's worth, take a look and see what you can get out of it. The first thing to check with any decision is how much time have you got. How will you manage your deadlines?