Make Better Decisions Using Suzy Welch’s 10-10-10 Method

I recently came across the 10-10-10 process of Suzy Welch. It’s a framework to help consistently improve decision-making by identifying regret before a decision is made. It works like this:

  • Crystalize the decision you’re making.
  • Understand the options available to you.
  • Identify the consequences of each option in the immediate future (10 minutes).
  • Identify the consequences of each option in the medium future (10 months).
  • Identify the consequences of each option in the long-term future (10 years).

Thinking about the consequences forces mental time travel. You’ll understand how “future you” will feel about the consequences of each option you’re considering. If you’re likely to regret a decision (i.e., an outcome doesn’t align with your vision of your future), you can factor that into your decision-making process and pick the decision (and likely outcome) that best aligns with the future you want to create.

An easy example of applying this is working out:

  • Decision: Should I work out now?
  • Options: Work out or don’t work out.
  • 10-minute impact of not working out: relaxed, comfortable, do something enjoyable, etc.
  • 10-month impact of not working out: feel bad, look bad, lack self-confidence, etc.
  • 10-year impact of not working out: increased risk of long-term health issues, etc.

Using this framework, it makes sense to push through the immediate discomfort and exercise to reduce your risk of health issues in the future and enjoy the other medium- and long-term benefits of working out. I know that’s easier said than done, but you get the idea.

I like Suzy’s approach. It’s a simple tool that most people can use to make consistent, rational decisions.

For more on her 10-10-10 method, watch this video.