Management consultants have a lot of frameworks for thinking, but one that’s really helpful in situations where the choices are confusing is to use a system called MECE, which stands for Mutually Exclusive Collecting Exhaustive.
This is jargon for “look at the big picture,” which is an exercise to truly see all the choices in a given situation (no choice is similar). Rather than viewing choices as a gut instinct reaction, MECE seeks to break down choices into a pyramid structure.
Most people would say, “I usually drive, or take the Acela, and sometimes I hop on the bus to Chinatown because it’s cheaper.” One may think this is the full range of options, but it is based on familiarity and gut instinct.
A MECE response would be “You can get there via land, sea, or air,” and they build on that answer with non-overlapping categories. By building this pyramid structure, one can outline all of the options within each of the categories and develop their approach within each category.
So what do I do when I don’t know what to do?
I think about what I can do. Usually, to my surprise, I see that I can do a lot, and that’s empowering.
Read more about MECE here: https://lnkd.in/dv4ppeY