Delays beget delays. Speed generates speed. Ask yourself how your organization behaves.
I have the benefit of working with multiple organizations simultaneously so I have the unique ability to benchmark decision processes between organizations as they are occurring in real time. One thing that is an absolute certainty is that organizations that have an expectation of speed and being fleet of foot always find a way to move quickly regardless of the complexity of the situation. They asses, simplify, evaluate, decide and then quickly take action to improve their current situation. This is followed by further analysis to optimize the original decision. People in these organizations move quickly. That’s the expectation.
To be clear, while I value speed, I’m not talking about the “Fire, Ready, Aim” approach where action is taken for the sake of action. This kind of speed only results in additional cost and more delays because the actions taken either don’t produce the desired result of actually make matters worse. This is particularly true when it comes to systems implementations but almost any situation can be made worse by misdirected action.
On the other hand, there are those organizations that can take even the simplest of decisions and find ways to over-think, over-analyze, and over-agonize creating inexplicable delays. The problem in these organizations is that time seems to slow. People respond in weeks instead of hours. The lack of urgency compounds over time. Rather than hours to days, responses to even the simplest items drag out for a month or more. While the swift are busy implementing, the slow are still deliberating.
The outside world can see this even if the organization itself cannot. When competing for external resources from the best vendors who have tight schedules, companies in this category find themselves getting pushed behind others who made quicker decisions and have a reputation for efficient implementation. Internally, executives may have to revisit a decision as what was fresh in their mind 30 days ago now requires reminders and updates.
For those of you who may be thinking that more time leads to better decision making, I have almost never found a correlation between the length of the decision making process and the quality of the decision. Yes, there are times when more time is needed to gather data or information and that is a reasonable use of the clock. That exception aside, people should be empowered to make decisions without needless layers of approvals, recommendations, and second guessing.
How would you rate your organization against this backdrop? Warning: If you’re at the top the organization, you’re actually rating yourself. Are there needless delays in your organization? And if so, can you identify the root cause? Or have you empowered others to make decisions and move the ball forward?
If your business could benefit from fractional CFO services, I would welcome the chance to speak with you. Please give me a call at (314) 863-6637 or send an email to [email protected]za.com The archive of these monthly newsletters is posted at the Resources section of homza.com
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