Perishable

April 14, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

For much of my professional life, my work involved analysis. I remember many debates with colleagues and team members about this very topic, but I could never explain my point of view as effectively as this quote does. I would reach a decision point and want to move forward and make "the call" while others wanted more time, more research. I have come to realize how I am wired, and I believe a lot of it can be traced back to my Navy experience. 

The word that stands out to me is "perishable." 

“Now often in the hands of analysts, operational decision-making began to reflect a more lengthy deliberation process.  This was consistent with their training and culture, but anathema to operations pace and risk management. Slowing the process had an intellectual appeal. Analysts seek an exhaustive review of data so as to make the most informed decision. In operations, you never have the complete picture. Perfect becomes the enemy of the good. You must act before perishable time lapses that closes windows of opportunity and heighten risk. No decision, therefore, is actually a choice, and is one that can come at great cost. While perhaps counterintuitive intellectually, in espionage, risk aversion increases danger to our operations and people.”

from the 2021 book, The Recruiter, by Douglas London,


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