by Tom Casey, Managing Principal Discussion Partner Collaborative
Among the most painful words in a meeting making it feel like Dante’s Inferno encompass at least the following:
- I still don’t understand
- I don’t agree because I don’t like
- I don’t think we have all of the information
- My gut tells me we need more
- I don’t think we have discussed this enough
- How come you are so quiet
- That’s not how X, Y, Z would have done it
- How will we know if it will work
- I don’t see the point
I can’t decide
Deming was quoted as saying “without data you are just another person with an opinion”. The question that arises even when you see the wisdom of this quote is at what point do you call a halt to the pursuit and analysis of data and make a considered judgment.
The term “Hyper Logical” also can be a change barrier for if you accept the definition at face value “One who carries out logic to the extremes”. Same problem, resulting in a bias for inaction.
In our Advisory work Discussion Partner’s often invokes the adage “speed now elegance later” when the conversations, research, and decision postponement “in search of more” seems to have exhausted both time and patience.
We apply two questions to encourage a pivot to a decision.
- Can you reasonably assume that any more data will change your perspective and lead to a better decision?
- Isn’t it just as logical to assume that paralysis due to the exhaustive application of logic is in of itself illogical?
Socrates nor Aristotle, and unlikely Deming would embrace our point of view…. which without hesitation is as follows:
Never enough means just that, with the implications of a postponed decision being just as dangerous as the wrong decision.
Our point of view is a strategic asset is speed, plan accordingly by either calling the question, or reframing endlessly debating options to a time-bound decision platform.