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What's Behind Your Decisions?

The most obvious and frequently the most influential reference point is precedent. What did we do last year?
—Lyle E. Schaller

On this second Tuesday evening in June, the big agenda item before the governing board at Trinity Church is the proposed schedule for the coming program year (August 1 through July 31). The first date that raises any questions is December 24.

"I see the proposed schedule calls for three Christmas Eve services. Is that the same as this past December?" questions one board member.

"Yes, it is," replies the pastor. "This is identical with last year's three services at five, seven, and nine on Christmas Eve."

That answer appears to satisfy everyone except Sandy Evans, who asks, "Why don't we add a fourth service to reach some of the people we missed last year? Maybe we could have two concurrent services at seven, or perhaps we should add an eleven o'clock service?"

This glimpse into one board meeting raises a question about the reference points used in decision making. It ...

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