Category Archives: Making better decisions

Managing amidst the uncertainty…

What an interesting week! Twitter falling apart, tech companies laying off, inflation stabilizing but high, stock market going up, mid-term elections going calmly – so much happening. Add to that the continuing Russian defeats, meeting of global leaders over climate change and Xi and Biden about to meet in Indonesia, Hard to know the best way of managing amidst the uncertainty. >

Focus on fundamentals

Fall is a time of transition. Daytime gets shorter, temperatures drop. This year seems more transitional with inflation, midterm elections, the war in Ukraine. SO much going on outside that we cannot control. It seems like a good time to focus on what we can control – focus on the fundamentals. >

Take too long?

Is this you?

  • You take too long to make a decision.
  • You get anxious that you don’t have all the necessary data.
  • You feel great pressure to make the perfect choice.
  • You enjoy researching the options more than actually choosing which one to go with?
  • You agonize about the consequence of a bad choice.
If this resembles you,  taking your time and doing deep analysis makes you the go to person for your friends and colleagues.  You can be counted on to have all the research and analysis completed. They take your recommendations with the respect and appreciation you rightly have earned.
The downside is that power abhors a vacuum. So, if you don’t make a decision your whole team slows down waiting. And, while they wait, they get bored and distracted or make the decision themselves. Their outcome is most likely not as good as the outcome you would choose.
So, what to do?
First, assess the importance of the decision and the consequence of getting it wrong. Small consequence? Just pick one of the two best options. It should be a pretty good result.
Set a self imposed deadline for deciding. If you still don’t know, pick someone to review what you know, and talk it through with them until you choose. Or take it to your team for input and drive to a result before you leave the meeting.
Afterwards, assess the quality of the result. You may find, that you make 97% as good a decision with 10% less data. That is a good indicator to go with your gut more often and move your team faster towards your goals.

 

If you want to move more quickly as a team, one option is to set earlier deadlines. Or use the agile method that tech companies do. The whole team works together on one project until it is complete, then starts the next one. They iterate fast.

 

Many, many times a 90% solution is enough. Shoot, that was an A in high school. Why are you beating yourself up to get 100% on everything?

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Slow down v. work differently

Do you regularly get the advice to slow down? I think I’ve been told that my whole life.  Especially by my Mother. There was a regular argument about how many activities I would jump into. She would tell me that I was going to get run down and catch “mono”. If you are snickering with me, you are of a certain age. I still get told to slow down even though I think I now take a lot more time for myself. It occurs to me the issue is not to slow down: it is “slow down v. work differently”. >

Mulally is Magic

Friday, Vistage launched a one hour interview by Sam Reese, Vistage’s CEO, with Alan Mulally who led Boeing for many profitable years and then turned around Ford Motor Company. Watch it today if you are in the Vistage community. Mulally is Magic. >

Most/least likely

Whatever scenario you predicted was most likely or at least probable 6 months ago is probably not worth the paper it was written on. But then again, who uses paper these days?

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Life expectancy – yours

If you look up a life expectancy calculator like this one, and you put in your birthdate it will tell you on average how may more years you should live. Despite our arrogant human hubris that we will live forever, there will be an end one day. I know, not for you. >

R.I.P. to J.I.T.

If you have any involvement in supply chain you know it is broken….maybe irretrievably. Forgive me if I say it out loud: R.I.P. to J.I.T. >

Feral Invasive Species

At 5 am, the dog barks at the burros wandering down the street outside our hotel. Again, at 5:20, and every 20 minutes thereafter until we got up.  Cindy, the owner of the Atomic Inn in Beatty, NV, (just outside Death Valley National Park) described the burros as a feral invasive species.  I called them a very cute nuisance.

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Miscalculations

This has been a week of unbelievable, sad, scary and very public miscalculations. The Ukrainians bought Putin’s claim that he wouldn’t invade. Big miscalculation.  Putin miscalculated the resolve of the Ukrainian people and the unity and the resolve of NATO. The consequences will be death, destruction and a reordering of the whole world order. At best. >