Informed decisions – Informed (adj): having much knowledge or education; learned or cultured. Decision (n.): The act of reaching a conclusion or making up one’s mind.
Human beings strive to make informed decisions each day, all day. It is in our nature to seek out ‘reliable’ information with which to base these decisions whether large (global merger of multi-billion dollar corporations) or small (which way home is the shortest based on traffic). At the same time, wading through all of the available information can be not only daunting but also absolutely paralyzing.
Case point: in shopping for a new replacement dishwasher, whether locally or online, we can sort through a myriad of customer reviews, consumer reports, numerous manufacturers, and an almost infinite number of choices. Read the reviews – check. Read the consumer reports – check. Identify / narrow down to three manufacturers with solid reputations – check. Compared mfg & models side by side to come up with the best purchase choice – check. Make the purchase – nope. Too much data resulted in no decision. But this lack of decision doesn’t let me off the hook as we have a dishwasher at the end of its useful life.
In this case, we have not made an informed decision but rather a ‘do nothing’. ‘Do nothings’ are the antithesis of the informed decision and if allowed, can run rampant through an organization and severely disrupt its decision-making capabilities. ‘Do nothings’ are especially insidious when a problem/issue is clearly known, the solution is readily available, but the choice of ‘do nothing’ is still made.
Look at the great success stories, large and small, in the business world and you will find organizations that have banned ‘do nothing’ from the boardroom to the mailroom. How do these organizations combat the ‘do nothing’ attitude? They are committed to an environment of decision-making and empowerment. Lusty words which actually mean the leadership team isn’t afraid to lead and the organization understands where it is going.
What is your commitment to banishing ‘do nothing’ from your organization?
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