when you make serious decisions, what do you first consider?
Do you think about the importance of that decision, its effects, its impact on you and on people that matter to you?
Where do you base your decisions, anyway?
Earlier this week, I encountered an article in the 24th volume of The Manila Collegian issued July 13, 2010. The author, Trishia Gayle Palconit, wrote in her article “No Lamenta”:
“…para sa aking nabubuhay sa modernong henerasyon, hindi na lang nakasalalay sa edad o sa dami ng karanasan ang kakayahan ng taong makapagdesisyon. Iba na ang mundo ngayon, matindi na ang sibilisasyon. Madali nang nakikilala ng kabataan ang pagkakaiba ng tama sa mali, nang dapat sa hindi. Bukod sa mga kwentong-pasa-sa-bibig, nariyan na rin ang teknolohiyang mabilis na nagpapakalat ng impormasyon tungkol sa iba’t-ibang aspeto ng humanisasyon. Kaya nga may mga batang nagrerebelde sa kanilang mga magulang; dahil sa tindi ng modernisasyon, iniisip nilang mas marami na silang alam, at mas matalino na sila kaysa sa tunay na nauna.”
Given the Internet that we have today that enables us to do easier and faster what we want to do or what we think we need to do, we can say we are in a better position to make decisions. That is why there are lots of information we can easily and quickly access in the Internet, right? This free access to information is not just for the sake of being informed, as David Weinberger wrote in “The Hyperlinked Organization”; the free access to information is for us to make BETTER decisions. So given the NSM tool within our reach, we can know right at the moment which universities offer the best courses, what products are best preferred by consumers, what do’s and don’ts to remember not just in practical day-to-day living but also in dealing with personal relationships. We can reach all the information we need with just a touch of our fingertips. So maybe making sound decisions doesn’t depend on age or experience after all, right?
We are more equipped and more informed than people were decades ago, thanks to the Internet. We may have more information to base our decisions on, but does that mean we make better decisions than the preceding generations? Consider our parents, our aged professors, and our future senior managers at work. Does that mean our being the Net Gen imply that we are better decisionmakers than they are?
I believe you would agree with my roommate when she said that experience still counts when it comes to making decisions. What the Internet provides is information, anyway. And in dealing with people in an era of hyperlinks and conversations, we don’t need mere information to survive; we need understanding. All the information would not matter and would not aid us in making decisions if we do not understand them. And to gain understanding, we need to know the story. We need something like an experience of it. So, given the Internet as our tool in collecting pertinent information, we have an edge, but it does not automatically mean we make better decisions than people older than we are. It doesn’t mean we could just ignore the value of experience.
When it comes to our parents, professors, and future senior managers, we don’t really have to see them as opponents, as Sir Barry pointed out in class last week (though they frequently go against our ideas and personal decisions). We should see them, rather, as “resource persons of stories and wisdom.” We should not see them as fallible people whom we need to prove wrong, but leaders from whom we could gain valuable insight. And when we get to meet difficult, aged people at work someday soon, all we need to do is to let them see that we champion NSM because it is simply part of the wind of change that would lead to the organization’s growth, and to personal growth as well. It is not a battle between the past and the present, anyway. For the organization, it’s a continuous pursuit for betterment, an ongoing quest for perfection.