Management Effectiveness: The Value of ‘NOW’ in Business Decisions
Whether it’s making a decision, starting a project or simply taking action on something you’ve already deemed important, waiting for things to be ‘just right’ usually leaves you missing the window of opportunity.
Want to be more effective at managing your business? Make decisions quicker and take action sooner!
How do you feel after you’ve decided on something important in your business and you’ve taken the first step towards making it happen? It’s like a shot of caffeine or the sensation of just winning something! You feel good about getting it started (or done) and relieved that you don’t have to think about it any longer. Unfortunately, for every good decision that gets put into practice, there are many more that simply miss the boat of opportunity.
To be sure, it’s most important to consider your options and seek advice if you aren’t comfortable with the subject before deciding to move forward. Many times, however, the research people continue doing or ‘that’ additional person they feel needs to be consulted with, only drags out the deliberation process causing good, timely decisions to get dropped.
If you find yourself spending too much time sifting through mounds of information and thinking about everyone else’s opinions; afraid to take action because ‘what if you’re wrong!’, you are already in a bad spot. Making good, confident decisions and acting on them is a behavior that takes practice. Like every other body part that needs exercise, your brain needs to be trained to evaluate, deliberate, decide and move forward. After all, the fun is in knowing you are engaged in doing something, right!
Set a Deadline and Stick to It:
Regardless of how important or how big the decision is and what you must commit to in order to make your actions successful, set a date when your decision will be made. Align this date with whatever factors determine the opportunity’s availability and make a hard commitment to act by that time. If you do your homework and decide it’s not for you, you will still feel good that you made a conscious decision not to move forward. Having to walk away from things because you waited too long only contributes to your continued inability to move in a timely fashion.
You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know:
This is a symptom of a great idea that opens up a whole new area of opportunity for you. The idea maybe something you have been mulling over for awhile or a suggestion by someone else that got your cerebral juices flowing. Let’s say you have an industrial tool making business and a friend suggested you look for government contracts. You think, ‘wow, I don’t get any of the government’s business- I need to do this!’ But then you realize you have no idea how to start this new revenue venture. It’s likely going to take time and money to meet whatever requirements are needed and the ability to connect to the right folks. Just thinking about where to start could keep this decision from ever getting off the ground.
One thing to consider is checking to see if there are people that provide this service as a business. Just by Googling ‘government contracts for small businesses’ you’ll get a list of services to contact. You could also ask among your business contacts to see if anyone else has done this. This usually works best as anyone who has been there is likely to want to show you the ropes.
The debilitating effects of too much information:
I’m not talking about a TMI moment you experience while having dinner with someone. I’m referring to the endless sources of information available to anyone who likes to do a little research. If you don’t limit your sources, you can literally stay in investigation mode forever! Pick 3 sources of information that pertain to your decision and get what you need from each. If you are unfamiliar with the area of interest, look for websites or books that can bring you up to speed on the ‘ins and outs’. If other people’s opinions matter, find a website with reviews to look at. If the issue at hand involved a major area of your business that you’d like to know more about, seek out a trusted expert to fill in the knowledge gaps. Then, weigh the pros and cons and decide.
Consider someone who can help you through the decision making process:
Taking action has benefits in so many areas, it’s a shame most people feel more secure waiting for someone or something to give them a sign. If you typically wait and often regret not moving sooner or faster once the opportunity has passed, consider getting an advisor to bounce ideas and actions off. Many times, you already know the correct direction to head in, you just need confirmation that everything has been weighed and considered before committing yourself. In the end, your life will be less complicated and your confidence much greater when you tackle decisions promptly and make decisions that move you from deliberation to action.
Learn more about the author, Steve Smith.
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- decision making
- management practices
- taking action