The defensible default is the decisions we take to cover our own back. It may not be the best solution but it does offer protection from accountability if things go wrong. It’s safe but it stifles innovation. It’s a grind sometimes but it is what’s expected. It is what everyone might moan about on occasion but still feel compelled to follow. Defensive Decision Making: What IS Best v. What LOOKS Best in the Farnam Street blog sums it up very well. I was pleased to have found it as it articulated my take on things at work better than I have ever done.
I was held to task by three default decision-making managers last week. It was an uncomfortable and frustrating experience. There was acknowledgement that the default represents no more than back covering at times. There was not though any room for discussing alternatives.
It would be more okay if things as they are were working. They are not though. Anecdotally the quality of the service provided is very poor. That’s from my own observations and from listening to people who use it, the staff on the ground and partner agencies involved. Organisationally though it is just too risky to do anything different. It’s a lot safer to hide behind procedures.
I handed in my notice three weeks before the meeting took place last week. I wish it could have worked out differently. There is though no hope of that. In order to get on you have to nod and agree to managers, do their bidding and don’t challenge convention. I have not got it in me to do that for any length of time. Got to let go and move on. I enjoyed it while it lasted.