Is a ‘Snap’ anything ever really a good idea

CHRISTINE SMART   •   MAY 15, 2017  


I’ve been thinking about this recently. Most of us live our lives according to a tried and tested set of routine activities that enable us to achieve most of what we need during the course of each day.

Despite being creatures of habit, however, many of us yearn for some spontaneous fun. While this isn’t a hint (I promise), wouldn’t it be nice if our other half decided to spring a surprise and whisk us off to the Maldives for a well-earned break? And we all know how sometimes the less planned our weekends are, the more we enjoy them.

When Prime Minister Theresa May decided to spring a snap General Election recently, it was certainly a surprise, but was it really spontaneous?

Weeks of political anaylsis later, it is evident that her decision to go to the electorate now was far from being a snap decision, rather it was based on a great deal of research and consideration. Could it be that this was her intention all along, despite her protestations to the contrary when she first stepped up to the PM role? Or was it a decision she arrived at several months after the EU referendum, as the polls swung in her favour?

The use of the word ‘snap’ general election certainly adds to the sense of surprise. Cleverly, it also makes it sound like a spontaneous decision rather than something a bit more calculated and rooted in political ambition.

It has made me think about whether other ‘snap’ events could be a good thing. A snap BBQ would certainly be a good idea if the weather is fine, but if you are going to invite lots of friends and family round to your home, don’t you really need a bit more time to prepare. Perhaps, like Theresa May, we should plan it for a specific weekend but hold off from announcing it until the last minute (after consulting the meteorological pollsters)?

Of course, some of the decisions we have to make are more high risk and it is important to optimise our chances of making the right ones. Business decisions can have significant repercussions for ourselves and our colleagues. The AREA method of decision making, set out in this article, provides some useful pearls of wisdom – the key points being to make use of research; understand our own biases; not rushing to judgment and being prepared to take a step back occasionally.

So, next time you’re thinking about making a snap decision, particularly if the stakes are high, think twice.

Benjamin Thomas