The kind of decisions individuals, societies, countries and business organizations make can have negative or positive effects on the parties associated. If an individual or business entity makes the wrong decision or choice at a given time, that decision or choice ends up affecting the future of the individual and that of the society at large. In order to prevent individuals, business organizations and societies from the often harsh, irreversible and disastrous consequences which result from poor and self destructive decisions, Diamond,  gives several possible reasons for disastrous decisions by communities, these reasons include failure to anticipate, failure to perceive as well as bad behaviour. This paper discusses the above-mentioned reasons in relation to why some societies make disastrous decisions.
Failure to anticipate refers to a situation whereby an individual, a business organization or the society fails to foresee the negative effects of its actions on various aspects of their lives such as the environment. Failure to anticipate is not a new phenomenon, as [Diamond, 2005] notes, throughout the course of humanity generations have engaged in self-destructive activities unperturbed by the implications such activities would have on future generations. Diamond, [2005.240-251] cites the example of the islander from the Easter Island society who inspite of the fact that the Island’s Palm forest was fast disappearing, the islander did not anticipate that cutting the last surviving palm tree was putting to an end a valuable resource. That single action of the islander effectively brought to an end an-ages’-old source of livelihood for that society.
Just like the islander I have found my self failing to anticipate on various occasion in life. For instance, before I joined the University I had been working and the job I was doing was well paying. I knew that I would join college in about 1 year. I had seen my elder sister struggle with raising the tuition fees required for college in spite of the fact that my father had been advising the sister to save. Finally when she joined college she was unable to cope with the tuition demands something which caused her great agony.
While all this was happening I was watching and I was mature and should have learnt enough lessons. However that was never to be, while I was working I failed to save for my tuition and that really resulted into a big problem for once I joined college, I found out that, I was not able to work for as many hours as I would prior to joining college.Therefore failure to anticipate that my joining university would interfere with my income flow caused me great problems immediately I joined college. In organizations, failure to anticipate has on many occasions led business into incurring big losses. In a business setting, the management is supposed to foresee any change in business environment occasioned by industry activities or competitor activity. In addition, businesses are supposed to anticipate new technologies that have the potential to revolutionalize their respective industries.Failure to anticipate causes many people and organizations to be overtaken by events and can lead to big losses. The ability to anticipate is very important and central to the smooth functioning of the organizations and individuals alike.
Tisal Food restaurant is a small business with 5 branches with about a staff of about 23 staff. While I was working there as a cashier, there were some problems which arose between the management and the staff concerning over time allowances. The standoff between the staff and the management went on unresolved for quite sometime until a time when the staff issued a strike notice. However the staff through their representative meant it very clear that they were ready for negotiations as long the administration was ready and willing to meet their demands.
Despite the opportunity at hand to avert the looming the strike, the administration did not bother to convene a meeting with the administration, consequently, the worker went on strike which lasted for about 10 days. The staff members had participated in the strike as a team and therefore the restaurant had to close for those 10 days. Once the strike was over, the relationships amongst staff deteriorated, morale was on an all time low and many of the workers were contemplating resigning, while 5 other employees actually never returned to the restaurant.In total the strike was approximated to have cost the restaurant to a tune of about $ 60,000. All the above resulted just because the administration failed to anticipate the effects of the looming strike until it was too late. Another cause for failure to anticipate is when an individual and organizations links unfamiliar situations with past experiences and old familiar situations, and therefore misunderstands the causes of the problems such society may be faced with. False analogies in today’s society and especially in the business world is responsible for some of the greatest mistakes business commit in their decision making process.For instance, companies whose past expansion programs led to high sales turnover, if faced with poor sales may hurriedly opt to expand to new markets in a bid to revamp sales performance.
What happens in such situations is that, the organization fails to anticipate emerging issues as well as other variables that could be the cause of the prevailing situation and therefore ends up adopting self destructive strategies.Failure to perceive refers to a situation whereby a society, individuals or business organizations fail to notice an already existing problem and therefore causes disaster in the society. This happens when societies become so subdued and overwhelmed by events such that self destructive mistakes such as environmental pollution happen but the society fails to take corrective measure to avoid future disasters.Diamond [2005.241-246) notes that failure by societies to make the right decisions leads to destruction which happens at such a low pace, such that, it is concealed by its tendency to take place in a fluctuated manner whereby the affected society does not notice anything happening until after many years where future generations notice the problem. Diamond gives the example of global warming which has been happening for a very long time but it has been going on unnoticed.
To avoid disasters, people should be able to foresee the problem in advance, as well as to perceive the problem when it hits on the society. So as to avoid disasters, a society should be able to avoid or deal with a problem in a better way. In cases whereby members of the society lack prior experience concerning the prevailing problem, a society is likely to engage in self disastrous decisions.Bad behavior causes disasters to societies in that the rich minority takes advantage of the majority’s indifference to advance their interests which are harmful to the majority, often taking advantage of society’s weak and ineffective laws. This is reminiscent in political institutions with undemocratic systems where the presidents manipulate the political system and remain in power for as long as hey wan even in cases whereby it is clear that the policies are unpopular and the countries keep on deteriorating economically.In today’s business environment, failure to take notice of staff turnover, decreased morale, bad decisions and low motivation can eventually lead to low output and reduced employee performance. In some cases, by the time the organization perceives the problem as a major one, a lot of loss has already happened and the organization could as well have lost important employees.ConclusionThe most disastrous decisions I have made in the past have been caused by my ignorance and bad decision making, such as my failure to save money for my tuition, I was blinded by the immediate benefits I was gaining.
The self destructive decisions which people get involved in can have bad consequences and there is a need for more awareness amongst individuals, organizations and the community. Societies, individuals and business organizations must look beyond short term objectives and satisfaction which lead into disastrous decisions. To avoid disastrous decisions, there is a need for societies, individuals and business organizations to be focused and to consider effects of current behavior on the future.