17.06.2023 Feature Article

Fundamental Incongruence - The Discord that Comes from Lack of Attention on the Interconnectedness of Critical Issues on Decision Making

Brian KazunguBrian Kazungu
17.06.2023 LISTEN

In simple terms, when it comes to decision making, Fundamental Incongruence refers to the discord that one of your actions brings on many other aspects of your life which you may have overlooked when you made a certain decision.

Fundamental Incongruence is a result of lack of attention paid to the interconnectedness of many other things that affect your life when making decisions on a certain matter.

For example, in business, there is what I can refer to as Strategy Determinants i.e. Mission Statement, Company Policies, Organizational Structure as well as Job Descriptions.

When you are crafting these strategy determinants, you must look at the organization as one object made of different parts so that they won’t create friction in your operations and thus affect group results.

For example, if your company policies make it difficult for your staff members to execute their duties, it means there is a fundamental incongruence that must be addressed.

When you make fundamentally incongruent decisions as a manager, it will result in some individuals or departments in your organization making notable progress at the expense of others.

Quite often, an incongruence arises from a lack of mechanisms that help in the access, application and monitoring of information and thus interfering with effective decision making.

Fundamental Incongruence can be minimized by adopting a Fundamental Congruence Checklist which is basically a set of ten questions that helps you to process the information you have about a certain subject in order for you to understand it better.

A Fundamental Congruence Checklist seeks to answer critical questions that are important for analyzing information towards making informed decisions and taking the right action.

It is a multi-versatile decision-making tool that can be used to gauge the relevance, effectiveness and impact of anything in life through answering the following ten questions:

1) What is this thing?
2) What does it do and how? — What are its key result areas or objectives and how are they accomplished?

3) Why does it do so? — Why are those its key result areas, objective or purpose?

4) What happens if it does not do anything or does not perform as expected?

5) Where is this thing situated in the matrix of life — what position does it occupy?

6) Why is it situated there? — Why is it occupying that space?

7) What happens if it is completely removed, moved somewhere, misplaced or even altered?

8) Who is in charge of it and why? — Who makes it work as planned?

9) How is its effectiveness assessed? — How do people know if it’s effective or not?

10) What happens if it is effective or not — What are the related consequences?

By using a Congruence Checklist, you will be able to clearly define the purpose of anything and then determine its relevance and interconnectedness to other things which are dear to you in life before you commit your energy, time and resources to it.

When you don’t ask yourself these ten questions, you are most likely to make impulsive decisions out of emotions (excitement) and do things that are very costly and regrettable.

The ten questions in the Congruence Checklist gives you a broader perspective when you want to make a decision on a certain matter.

Any person or institution can succumb to the Fundamental Incongruence phenomenon unless the purpose, application and impact of information that is critical for decision making is analyzed.

The whole point in doing a Congruence Checklist is to promote Systems Thinking through doing a holistic (complete) analysis which enables you to evaluate anything at any time.

In order for you to appreciate the concept of Systems Thinking, you must firstly understand the meaning of a SYSTEM.

I describe a system as the sum total of components which makes something functionally whole.

For example, if we look at a car, we can see that it has an engine, tyres, a fuel tank etc. All these needs proper care and must be checked mostly before you embark on a journey.

This means that you must consider if the tyres have adequate pressure, the engine has enough oil, and the tank has enough fuel. If by any chance, you use all the money you have to buy fuel only and then forget to check for oil, you are likely to have a serious breakdown.

The same applies to the decisions that you make concerning friends, marriage, career etc. Such decisions need you to be objective and open minded.

You can do this by adopting Systems thinking since it helps you to look at everything through the use of a Congruence Checklist.

As an individual, you must strive to make sure that your mind, body and spirit are in harmony when you make decisions in the pursuit of your wishes and dreams.

You must make sure that you always do a Congruence Checklist on anything you want.

Your family and friends can also help you to do a Congruence Checklist on certain matters in order for you to align your thoughts and activities with your purpose in life since they can show you some of the things that you might overlook on your own.

When you believe that such people lack the capacity to help you on this matter, you can even look for a Personal Development Coach or a Life Coach to guide you in making better decisions. If you are an entrepreneur, you can look for a Business Consultant.

If your imaginations, thoughts, decisions and actions are not in alignment, it means you have a Personality Incongruence since the fundamentals of your being are not harmoniously working together towards giving you the desires of your heart and mind.

The same is true with any institution in that, if its Mission Statement is not in line with its policies, staff duties and the responsibilities of people in that organization, the attainment of objectives becomes merely a pipe dream.

From reading this book, we can now agree that everything that you do has a serious effect on many aspects of your life, and as such, when you are making decisions, you must not be narrow minded.

You must train yourself to be objective and open-minded especially by using the Congruence Checklist.

If you don’t critically process the information you have about anything, you may end up being haphazard in your decision making and thus leading you to do things that can negatively affect your health, character and good relations.

Adapted from THE SMART DECISION HANDBOOK written by Brian Kazungu

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Twitter — @BKazungu