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When to Try New Things: 4 options for creating change

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This week, I've been thinking about the warning signals that something needs to change. It stems from some work I'm doing around change and ambiguity.

It's a work in progress, but here's an early model that sums it up. It's similar to a Cynefin framework, providing a guide about the criteria we should use to make decisions, based on what's going on around us, and how important our decision is.

  • When there's low ambiguity and low stakes, we should try new things while it's safe. This is great for hobbies, outfits and activities!

  • When there's low ambiguity, but high stakes, we should look for the best solution, rather tham innovating. Here, we should do what's smartest for our wallet, time and big goals. This is usually true for large purchases, career and relationship choices.

  • When ambiguity is high, but decision stakes are low, we should keep things on an even keel. There's enough going on. If you're mid restructure and wondering whether to switch gyms or get a dog - don't. Wait.

  • When ambiguity is high, and the stakes are high, we should make decisions as small as possible, so we can shift as things change. So, if you're mid restructure and wondering whether to end your marriage... don't blow it up - but don't just let it sit, either. Small steps.