In a recent post, I noted two puzzling cases of fearing the wrong thing. I list them again here:
1. Business leaders focus solely on technology or gut feeling in hiring workers because they fear not having enough technology, or they just follow their gut.
2. Business leaders put off big decisions because they are afraid to make a mistake.
Today, let’s consider the second. It’s a natural human desire to be lazy and want to be perfect. Either one of these can bite you on the big decision.
If we have no process for due diligence in the big decision, that is a kind of laziness. Each decision has different elements, but we can detail a process and follow to get proper data and avoid assumptions. Often, they are complex issues that do not allow us to grasp all the facts at once. In that case, we can use a matrix or a more rigorous strategic model. These methods can get us to a reasonable grasp. Project management can get us to decide according to a schedule and with the findable facts. We can avoid delay followed by panic.
We should not expect to know everything. 70% is often a good standard. Risk will exist in most cases. Moreover, the risk rises if we do not follow a due diligence process. Further, it will get worse if we delay the decision out of fear.
Proper implementation takes time, and needs process. Let us avoid harming our execution or our organization by eating up time unnecessarily on the decision.
Decision Making and Fearing the Wrong Thing
Not deciding in a timely and rigorous way is damaging. It can lead to delay and finally panic which is certainly a very bad way. Letting the tyranny of the present fire fighting delay us is no way to work.
A paralyzing fear of the big decision is the other big issue. No one wants to make a mistake on the big project. Many times companies and organizations simply do not have a process for big decisions, and so fear takes hold and delay kicks in. If no process exists, then make one. Put in who gets facts and how to due diligence as part of the plan. Budget funds and time for both on these big issues. Think of all the contingencies that need to be considered. Plan and do it well.