Bombing Syria: Well-Formed Outcomes? (31 August 2013)

As I write, the UK Parliament has decided not to bomb Syria (just yet), and President Obama is floundering around unsure what to do. I have my views, like everyone else; but whatever is your opinion on this, it certainly appeared Cameron and Obama’s goal was unclear at best. They wanted to bomb Syria: but why, exactly, and what would be the consequences?

So can coaching teach our esteemed leaders anything in this situation, notably the formulation of “well-formed outcomes” that are imperative in setting meaningful goals that could help you achieve the changes you want.

I did a quick test of the goal against the accepted standards:
1. Stated in positive terms – “We want to bomb Syria”: YES
2. Outcome in your control – Bashir and all despots will not use chemical weapons (again): NO
3. Sensory-based evidence –will we know when it is done? See, feel, hear, taste, smell it? YES
4. Resources – have they got what’s needed to succeed with the goal? YES
5. Retains existing benefits – what will be lost, potentially, if the goal is achieved? Do we know? NO
6. Ecology – there may be effects on others. What happens if the goal is achieved; and what happens if not? NO
7. Define the first step: what comes first? YES

Bombing Syria, therefore, rates as medium in terms of well-formed outcomes. But the biggest question about the goal is: why this goal at all? What are the other options?

So form your goals carefully; I’d like a New World Order, but that goal fails on at least 2 and 4 above.

Ho hum

Graham (for all the civilians of Syria, and citizens all around the world, whose leaders constantly disappoint and betray us) - email: - tel: + (44) (0) 7890 360 806 - skype: tigercoaching1