The Marginal Costs Trap

Every decision has a cost. When you decide to do something, simultaneously you have decided to not do something else. This means that we behave according to some guidelines and within specific parameters. They define who we are and, more importantly, who we become. 

When a decision is difficult or a situation is complicated we can, frequently, give permission to ourselves to break our personal rules. It is always a “just this once” situation and the excuse is always a good one. The marginal cost associated with it is always low. 

But marginal costs accumulate and each decision that goes against our character provides a state of permissiveness that makes it all right to do it again and maybe again. 

This casts us adrift. It changes the picture of who we are. It creates a discord between our professed values and our actions and that affects our thoughts. It is the same for a company as it is for an individual. If you cannot be who you are, you find yourself turning into someone you never wanted to be.   

The world is changing. Not overnight and not all at once, but it is changing nevertheless. In my talks to corporate groups, CEOs, VPs and industry leaders I gleam insights of how this change is happening. What evidence exists. Why some things happen and not others and how we can best take advantage of it all to do better. In Observations I catalogue it all. Brief, to the point and open to discussion.