Second Order Consequences

The power of unpacking decisions before they are made

One of my mentors Keith Cunningham has a thinking time practice I’ve adopted that includes 5 filters to run ideas through.

I’ve been using it for years now.

One of my filters he highlights is called “Second Order Consequences”.

The idea here is to try and imagine making “X” decision and then examining the good, the bad and the ugly.

Every choice has ripple effects that are often never considered. Some good and others bad.

We tend to be overly optimistic during the honeymoon stage of decision making.

Every bad decision starts out as a good one.

This is truly a superpower and such a simple process to add to your decision framework of life.

When I look at examining Second Order Consequences I’m trying to consider a few things.

A. What are the hidden costs of making this decision i’m not considering?

B. What are the holding costs i’m now absorbing by making this decision. Remember nothing is free of time, money or energy.

C. What are the opportunity costs i’m now giving up by making this decision?

This can be applied to investments, partnerships, buying stuff, marketing campaigns, etc.

I hope this helps.

Keep stacking bricks


Thinking Time Chief @

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