There are a lot of reasons for not moving forward but is there anything more frustrating? I don't think so. There seems to be a fear of making decisions in organizations or anywhere for that matter. In fact, it seems to be so bad in some large organizations that managers are just happy if everyone is working. As long as no decisions are being made, there is no danger of making a mistake. There is no accountability.
I shouldn't say no decisions are being made. You have probably experienced some of the more regrettable ones. You must know the feeling. You spend hours, if not weeks, putting together a study paper with some brilliant recommendations. You just know it is going to impress the higher ups so much that you will probably get a promotion or at the very least, a raise. You wait expectantly for the decision and finally, here it comes:
- I think we need to study this further; or
- I can't concentrate on this right now; or
- We have other important issues we have to focus on; or
- More thought has to be given to your arguments; or
- Let's wait for the situation to change; or
- Let's put it aside for now and hope it will go away; or finally, the real killer response
- I can't agree to this; there are typos in your paper.
I believe that there is a desperate need for decision makers in business. And decision makers are at all levels. Peter Drucker said, "Most discussions of decision making assume that only senior executives make decisions or that only senior exectutives' decisions matter. This is a dangerous mistake." I couldn't agree more. Everyone in an organization has some level of authority to make a decision. We might be stymied at some point by someone more senior who doesn't want to make a decision, but at least we can take comfort in the knowledge that we have made our decision.
Don't be the one that says more study is required or that uses any of the other feeble excuses for not moving forward. A good leader will encourage their staff to do a good job and then back them up when they do. They will be sure it is a good product by ensuring that their expectations are understood. When the product is received and, if it has met the expectations that were laid out, a decision should be made so that the organization can move forward.
I might add that this applies to personal life too. Quite often good things pass us by while we are trying to make a decision. Make the decision and move on!
The next post will discuss Confidence Versus Arrogance.