Postponing the decision process has long-been a inner-human nature and as such not only been fostered in big-corporation environment but basically everywhere. Especially with the huge amount of possibilities we have in western society, the paradoxy of choice doesn’t really make things easier. As a result very often, we rather don’t take any decision or postpone and defer it as long as we can. In hopes of not making the wrong one. What we are not aware of is that this is probably the worst decision we can take. Because not deciding is a decision.
And of course I am not talking about the Agile/Lean-Style of deferred commitmentt, I am talking of having all necessary information at hand, having the options on the table but not deciding upon them. We do that very often, in the hopes of having more information at our hands later, being wiser, something revealing itself to us, rendering the decision to take obvious or simply because we are to afraid to decide that very second. But that barely happens. Actually the opposite is very common, with the decision still ahead of us, we are stressed, think about it to much and too often, analyse it inside out and any option becomes this huge, scary monster compiled of problems and pitfalls we’ve to need to sail around if we go. And the bigger this monster becomes over time the more we feel responsible if that outcome happens.
Not deciding is more than only stressing you
So not deciding isn’t only obviously the most stressful path to go but also hurts you and what you are trying to achieve in an even bigger scale. Because every second spend undecided also means you are not working towards it on full speed. Instead of working on it for a month, you are lurking around, trying to figure out where to go from there. In the meantime someone else is a month ahead of you because they just decided to go for it. A month you’ll never get back and that is really hard to catch up on.
And taking long to decide on stuff doesn’t only mean your execution gets postponed, it also gives the decision process to much room and makes you less flexible. If you spend a month thinking about going that way, changing course later - though all evidence tells you to - is much harder. You’d have to admit you spend all that time and didn’t even decide on the better solution, a hard cross to bear. And because of that you are getting more blind to changes you have to do, because you thought about all that before hand and apparently found the right solution, so everything needs to be good from here an on. But it never is. Putting that responsibility onto you as well.
Not a biggie
While most decision we face are actually minimal in its effect and with just the right amount of flexibility are very easy to change correct if done wrong. But even that isn’t necessary most of the time. It is not as if we were deciding above life and death and the end of the world at any giving minute of our time. Instead they are mostly minimal and we only pretend they are big. Keeping them minimal and embracing that we don’t know everything about it yet, makes it much easier to decided. Because you can admit you were wrong, learn from it and move on, instead of defending a stupid idea, just because you’ve spent so much time deciding for it.
So instead of making everything about the big decision, focus on the execution and measure it; just decide and move forward. Because otherwise you are just wasting time and you won’t get anywhere anyways.