Transforming the Rational Decision Making Process – Part 1

Do nothing, and nothing happens. Life is about decisions. You either make them or they’re made for you, but you can’t avoid them.
― Mhairi McFarlane

The intent of this blog post is to highlight the usefulness or utility of both the rational decision making process in time display mode and its transformation into the relational domain. Both are needed for wise decision making. In the rational domain I want to show that the four bottlenecks shown along the time axis, when transformed into the relational domain explain all the issues that numerous decision theorists have exposed as to what goes wrong with the normative (classical) model of decision making.

Part 1 – The Rational Domain
The rational decision-making process describes an idealised approach for solving problems and making changes for the better.

How do we go about making decisions, solving problems or doing scientific research?

Over the last three hundred years an approach called rational thinking has been the mainstay behind the decision-making process.

We’ll start with a simple example of the classical decision making process in action.

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Barry Marshall – Change Master

This is a condensed version of an essay on how Dr Barry Marshall went about changing the views of the medical fraternity as to the real cause of stomach ulcers.

The unabridged essay, Warren and Marshall – Changemakers, can be downloaded here.

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The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance – it is the illusion of knowledge.
– Daniel J. Boorstin, American historian

When trainee specialist Dr Barry Marshall first met with Dr J. Robin Warren, a staff pathologist at the Royal Perth Hospital, he had no idea that their collaboration and dogged persistence would eventually change a core belief of the medical profession and save half-a-million lives a year – each year, for ever – and for him to become a Nobel laureate.

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Robin Warren – Change Initiator Extraordinaire

This is a condensed version of an essay on how Dr Robin Warren discovered the cause of stomach ulcers.

The unabridged essay, Warren and Marshall – Changemakers, can be downloaded here.

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It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.
— Henry David Thoreau, American essayist

The 11th of June 1979 was a day clinical pathologist Robin Warren would never forget. It wasn’t just the fact this day was his forty-second birthday and he would be celebrating with his family that evening. No, something he was viewing in the microscope caught his eye which he described as “a funny-looking thin blue line stuck on the surface of the cells in some areas”.

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Ava the Honey Bee – Change Instigator

Ava the Honey Bee - cover

This fable shows a change instigator at work. It was written in 2015 for my granddaughter, Ava, as a 20-page illustrated book for her second birthday. It tells how our hero, Ava, a young honey bee learning how to become a foraging bee, uses her keen observation skills to expose a potential calamity for the hive. But her fellow bees don’t want to change their ways and so they ignore her. In the end, Ava’s persistence pays off and eventually others take up the cause and the colony makes the decision to move out of harm’s way. A wise move by all involved.

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George Mottershead – Change Master

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Chester Zoo in the north of England is recognised as one of the leading zoos in the world. Home to 12,000 animals set in 125 acres of award-winning zoological gardens, it hosts 1.6 million visitors each year. For more than 80 years, Chester Zoo has been dedicated to protecting biodiversity and saving species from extinction. The only reason it exists is the vision and dedication of one man: George Saul Mottershead. How did it all come about?

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