In the Innovate step, it is time to identify and/or create decision alternatives. Having completed the Frame step, planning decision making, you should now have a clear set of prioritized success criteria. The objective of the Innovate step is to generate decision options that can meet the needs and desires you have identified during decision framing.
It is important that multiple alternatives be considered. Potential solutions (decision alternatives) should be adequately described to make them understandable to everyone involved in the decision making process.
Innovating possible new decision options enables you to consider new opportunities and look at a broad range of alternatives, some of which may be outside of your comfort zone. Here are the key pieces of the Innovate step.
We call this the Innovate step, but it should not be confused with invention. Innovation includes applying known solutions in a new situation, or in some cases, a similar context. Recognize that a number of solutions used in previous decisions may be an innovation for the choice you are trying to make now.
Here are three categories to consider when looking for known decision alternatives:
There are some decisions where a small number of alternative solutions are appropriate, but it is important in the Innovate step to avoid tunnel vision or jumping to a premature conclusion. You can innovate to create new options for most high value decisions. We recommend having 5 to 9 decision alternatives for evaluation during the Decide step.
A number of brainstorming approaches can be used, but here are three that can be used with the known solutions identified above.
In general, with the overpowering amount of information that is available, in most choices you will find that you are confronted with too many alternative solutions.
For the decision making process to be effective it is important to avoid analysis paralysis that results from having too many options. Everything will slow down as the number of alternatives starts to exceed our ability to mentally keep track of them. More than nine solutions should start raising a warning flag.
Here are some ways to decrease the set of decision alternatives to our suggested number (5 to 9).
Return from Decision Alternatives to Decision Making Process