The definition of Binary:  Adjective. Relating to, composed of, or involving two things.

“That’s such a binary way of thinking.”

“You’re approaching this in a binary way – it’s not that black and white.”

“We need to speed up and get some cut through on decision-making – let’s take a binary approach to this.”


The above are examples of phrases I’m regularly hearing in more and more organisations.  Hurray – more jargon.

Now, before it sounds like I’m falling down on one side or the other of this argument, as to whether it’s a good or bad thing (no pun intended), I have to say that there are some real pros and cons to introducing binary thinking or decision-making.

So…Be a fly on the wall for a minute, and witness a conversation I recently had – you can make your own decision on the value you could gain from some more binary-ness in your life…it might be something you could use:

CLIENT: What’s the right way to do this?  Should it be like this or that?

ME: Well I wonder what the right way is – it’s a judgement call I expect, like most things.  I agree, those two are both options.  You could do thisand thatand in my opinion possibly x, y and z.  Any other options do you reckon?

CLIENT: I could try this, maybe that and I suppose, ummmm, yes probably that other thing too.

ME: So do you want to narrow it down to either/or?  In fact, yes let’s narrow it down to 2 options – you’ve got about 7 to choose from at the moment.  Which are your Top 2?

CLIENT: *long pause* A or B.

ME: And which of those do you want to go for?


ME: And…if you didn’t go for only A or B but chose from A, B, C, D, E, F & G…which would you choose?

CLIENT: E I think maybe but probably still B.

ME:  So which do you want to go for first?


ME:  Great – well let’s work out how you can land B really well and get what you want.  By the way, I’d personally go for Option D.

*Grabs diary, workload planner & begins an action plan*

Over to you then dear blog reader – your call on when you could experiment some more with this approach.