Wolves, for Mike Phillips, was the decision that removed a thousand later decisions.
Two weeks ago I introduced the concept of trophic cascade which I first heard about from Mike Phillips, a wildlife restoration expert responsible for spearheading the movement to reintroduce gray wolves back into Yellowstone.
In case you missed it trophic cascade is essentially how the food pyramid exists within ecosystems.
In many ways my work is like Mike Phillip’s, in that I restore and cultivate ecosystems. Only my habitat is business.
Because of this parallel I wanted to understand how I could apply the concept of trophic cascade to business. I felt there was a deep connection but what was it? Then I realized, reintroducing a small number of wolves back into Yellowstone was a decision that instigated a thousand other decisions i.e trophic cascade. This cascading effect eventually restored equilibrium to the habitat.
The point is that reintroducing wolves was the one decision that removed a thousand other decisions.
The Decision Making Process.
The trouble with the decision-making process is that most of us are caught up in the weeds most of the time. We’re so focused on completing tasks related to our one area of expertise we lose sight of the big picture. This is what behavioral scientists call cognitive entrenchment.
But what if we stopped digging and peeked up over the top of our individual trench?
This view is the big-picture view. It is the first step to understanding how a single decision could have cascading effect.
Think about it.
Is there a decision to be made that has the potential to restore balance to your life? Your organization?
What will you have to give up in order to move forward?