Decision making is described as an analytical process in which decisions are arrived at. It is also described as an assessment of choices, determined by strategic thinking. It is both a task and an outcome or result. It is a judgement over matters. Decisions rest on key principles, two of which include soundness and precision. Decision making is central in the interpretation of actions, for it provides a ruling, so to speak, necessary for further action. Human life is saturated with decisions, from simple decisions, like what to eat for breakfast, to difficult ones, like how to resolve an international conflict.
Decisions serve as pronouncements or verdicts regarding an issue; for example, judicial verdicts, perceptual assessment of an occurrence, and so on. Decisions are valid and enforceable in so far as they are indicative of a judgment or ruling. They are credible in so far as they are based on accuracy, for sound decision making requires facts and information. Effective decision making produces soundness of judgement, not confusion. Humane decisions are person-centred, and person-sensitive.
Decision making at the individual level and national level do not differ significantly, for the principles remain the same. At both levels, decision making is strategic, forecast, visionary, inclusive [not exclusive], mindful, calculating, for the aim centres on the sustenance of the given decisions. At the national level, decisions are interpreted through policies, structures, national plans, appointments, and systems, to name just a few channels. Depending on their construction and interpretation, policies and national plans, for example, affect states. National policies are earmarked for success, longevity; for example, the percentage of women representation in parliament. The point here concerns the quality, precision and outcomes of decisions
On the contrary, decision making can be reckless and counterproductive. Reckless decisions are baseless, timeless, and unproductive. Since decision making aims at results, decisions therefore, must be pro-active, pro-achievement, and pro developmental. Reckless decisions negate these concepts, for they undermine effective decision making. Yet, everyday life is inundated with billions of decisions, regardless of their level of soundness. Poor decisions, like good decisions have long term effects. The absence of negativity, irrelevancy, and redundancy yield effective decision making.
Take the case of Juma [not his real name], the community leader who despite years of experience as a public servant, repeatedly failed to make sound decisions due to his inhumane regard of others. Or take the decisions made at the global, local and regional levels involving issues of democracy, socio-economic, and educational development; where some are laudable, others are wanting.
Thus, poor decisions, be at the national or community level, retard progress; they also undermine the very fabric and institutional structures necessary for development. Reckless decision making
undermines national potential, national confidence and patriotism. The survival of states, let alone communities, is significantly determined by the actions and decisions they make; wrong decisions are time consuming, energy consuming, for they require drawn out corrective measures, of which, most states do not have engage in. It is easier to ignore a mistake than to correct to. It is equally easier to justify it, lie about it than to correct it. Thus, decision making requires analysis, careful thought, humane worldview and confidence. Although these concepts are not always appreciated, they do, nonetheless aid in the soundness of the decision making process.