April 15, 2011

Making Quick Decisions

Try a New Gear

Years ago, I worked for a guy who proclaimed loudly and often that he subscribed to the “ready – shoot – aim” approach. He would get red in the face and start to vibrate when I deliberated too long on a decision. He would remind me that the most successful people decide, fix mistakes and get the right answers fast while most get lost in thought. However, he often missed the 'fix mistakes' part, that was for the rest of us to mop up.

It is empowering when you listen to your gut and go for it. You just know it’s the right thing to do. A customer or client wants it a certain way and all of our being is so sure they are going on the wrong direction. But you hesitate and the opportunity is lost. Shoulda coulda woulda wins the day.

Navigating the Customer/Supplier Relationship

It doesn’t matter if you run a burger restaurant or a consulting practice, there are usually two choices when working with customers. You can tell them what they want to hear or you can show them what they need to do. The customer is not always right or they would be doing the very services they seek from others. It’s clearly not always that cut and dried but it’s a good place to start.

The social web has given us the impression that we need to make quicker decisions. It’s a world full of non-stop content that is flying at us like a non-stop fire hose. We are skimming more than reading. We are firing from the hip when we feel like it. Companies are grappling with how to navigate – and more importantly harness - the power of almost two billion people online. We all want attention. We all want quick wins. It is unrelenting and overwhelming. Funny to note, my old boss simply “doesn’t get” all this social networking stuff which is rather humorous.

Keeping Up with Quick

One way to approach it would be from inside your organization. Shut off the noise for a while to allow for some actual think time. Ready shoot aim may be flawed but ready aim shoot can be just as dangerous. We can fire too quickly or deliberate too long.

As the world seems to get more complicated and technical, we need to cut it to the core and look at the basics. Tweeting, blogging or podcasting will not fix a bad business idea. No amount of design expertise, SEO, meta tagging or mobile app development will save a company that has weak internal and external customer service. But the tools often mask as a way to acclerate the process.

Is it possible to make quicker decisions by slowing down?

Kneale Mann

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