Sustainable decision making

Last week, I spoke at the Names Not Numbers conference on the topic of The Sustainable Decision. I spoke about my desire for leaders everywhere to consider the impact of sustainable decision making and the ongoing ripple effect. I argued that every decision we make is sustainable in some way because it has an impact that goes beyond the initial decision.

When call centres were transferred from Western Europe to Eastern Europe and India, the global economy was born yet many of the decisions to offshore call centres were made based on reducing cost.

I wonder how many of the people involved in those decisions really understood the wider impact that those decisions would have on society, both locally and globally. A cost-reduction exercise became a sustainable decision that had a huge impact on society as we know it today.

Local decisions have a global impact

On a micro level, when you make a decision to stand up for your rights or not, it has an impact. When you shout at your kids or get frustrated with someone at work, it has an impact. When you behave in a particular way repeatedly without being aware of it, the impact changes how everyone around you behaves too.

Think about that. Your actions have a global reach. That’s why I believe raising awareness of how we behave as leaders is important because it makes a difference, whether you see the aftermath or not. Your decisions are sustainable.

What decisions are you making (big and small) and what’s the impact of them?

How horses help sustainable decision making

In my talk, I explained how working with horses helps leaders be more effective in their leadership and decision-making by allowing us to be more conscious of what we think, say and do and the wider impact it has. Horses help you identify your unconscious biases so you raise greater awareness of your default patterns of behaviour. It’s revealing, empowering and surprising at times too.

Names Not Numbers is an outstanding conference. Run by the fantastic Julia Hobsbawm, it attracts a range of people from all areas of society – business, the arts, politics, journalism and much more. In fact, I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to challenge their thinking.

It was a privilege to speak at the conference amongst a headline of speakers who are well known in their fields. In between conferences, people gather together at breakfast meetings and supper evenings in central London. Always enlightening and stimulating, the excellent speakers provoke us into thinking differently. It keeps the mind sharp and the attention on creating a positive impact and making sustainable decisions.