Monday, May 12th, 2014
TWO BLIND SPOTS IN EXECUTIVE DECISION MAKING–WELL THREE OR FOUR
Blind Spot #1–SPEED
Making fast decisions seems to be admired. There is a kind of bravado at play. “I’m willing to make the call even if no one else will.” Action oriented companies and executives can’t stand the tension of wrestling with a tough decision. There are two elements here. One is “What do we need to know to make the decision?” and two, “What is the window of decision time that we have to make the decision?” Then dig into the decision making process which should include the criteria for a good decision.
Blind Spot #2 THINKING DECISION MEANS ACTION
Some executives will avoid a decision because they aren’t ready to put it into action. And other executives can’t tolerate waiting to act after they have decided. Put breathing space in-between a decision and it’s execution. Plan the timing of action after the decision is made. Two separate events.
Blind Spot #3 LETTING TALK ALLEVIATE THE PAIN OF DECISION
Some organizational decisions are doozies. They are tough and complex and painful to make. And so they get talked about and talked about and talked about and talked about. The talk soothes that moment of decision and helps to put it off. Task forces and committees and consultants can all soothe the pain instead of forcing the decision. (See blind spot #1 for remedy)
Blind Spot #4 PERFECTIONISM
For top level CEO and executive decisions, there is always risk. And usually the acted on decision has some unexpected results. You know this and still it’s hard to act. You want to get it right. The decision was hard enough and now there is the energy needed to execute and clean up any mess that results. And what if: the documents are not exactly right, the legal foundation isn’t solid enough, what if XYZ changes, what if the market isn’t ready? The stalling for perfection can kill a decision or make it so late that it loses the impact intended.
Top level decision making is an art–a dance of data, timing, guts, intuition, pain management and readiness for the impact of the decision. This is, indeed, what you are paid to do.