Skip to main content

The 'Doing' versus 'Decision' balance

When businesses are struggling to deliver their products and services on time I often see the conflict between the doing tasks and decision tasks.

It seems to be a balance that most of us have to deal with at some point in our careers and I think that most of us have a natural preference.

As we progress through our job roles we move from lots of doing to lots of decision making, and in-between will be that balance where we find that just working harder won't be the solution.

However, when there are decisions to be made in a business it is important for us to be aware of which side of this balance we are leaning towards.


If our natural instinct is to get our sleeves rolled up and get into the thick of things we need to be aware of this.

Likewise, if we prefer to sit in a dark room and decide what is the right course of action then being aware of this is also useful.

When crunch time arrives this balance will come into effect; your preference is likely to emerge.

But, depending on where you are in the business' hierarchy the proper activity will be different and will affect the outcome of the situation significantly.

If your position in the business is in management (or higher) then making decisions is more likely to be the emphasis. A swift decision of how your business is going to manage a situation can have a bigger impact than just you trying to get involved. This of course depends on the number of people working on the issue at hand and the time available to sort out the problem.

This balance is much like the 'fight or flight' response you experience when a stress inducing situation experience is encountered. In this case a choice is made to physically do something or mentally do something. Neither option is necessarily wrong, it is just that the result can be a lot different.

Of course, if you don't make the right choice that can affect the situation longer term, performance will suffer and you will find that you end up in a Groundhog Day situation. The same problem will crop up time and time again

There is a right time to be action orientated and a right time to be thinking orientated.

The point of this post is that I want you to be aware of what your preference is, in case some of your past approaches to business problems haven't been the optimum choice.

If you get a chance today, have a look back at some of your recent 'crunch time' situations and decide whether you got the balance between doing and decision right.


Giles



About the author
Giles Johnston is a Chartered Engineer who specialises in helping businesses to grow and improve through better business processes.

Giles is also the author of Business Process Re-Engineering and creator of the 'Making It Happen' continuous improvement toolkit.




Download my free guide 'You're Late!!!' and improve your productivity and on time delivery performance today.

Click here to get your guide.

Popular posts from this blog

Where to start with Kaizen, if you just aren't sure

Kaizen is a great word. It is a word that can unleash the potential of both a business and an individual. Kaizen means more than just continuous improvement. It is a word that is linked to: Confidence Growth Exploration Courage Many people I speak to, that are new to improvement projects, aren't sure if they are on the right path when it comes to embracing the spirit of Kaizen. If you are also one of these people then let me share with you a few thoughts that can help you feel at ease about starting and leading change. Start with your concerns A great place to start your improvement life is with anything that isn't right. Getting your concerns out into the open really is the first step for most of us. If you aren't happy with something, raise it. This isn't only a great place to start, but something that you shouldn't give up. Whenever a standard is not being met, or not even defined, get vocal and then do something about it. Start small The intention of Kaizen is

Stimulating Kaizen opportunities - the 'mechanical' way!

I often end up in conversations about how to stimulate Kaizen ideas and opportunities. If you have read my other posts, you will know that I split the improvement journey into two halves. For many people, the initial Kaizen focus is all around fixing things that are wrong / not working properly. Once you get past this point you need something else to focus and motivate you to generate improvement opportunities. The two halves of the Kaizen journey The discussion that I often end up in, is the one around the imagination quandary. People talk to me about not being creative, or not being inspired to come up with improvement ideas. Do you ever feel this way? It seems that there is a popular view that some people are creative and some aren't. Great Kaizen ideas are not just the product of 'creative' people. There are lots of ways that you can generate improvement ideas without having to sit on a mountain top cross legged waiting for inspiration. Finding a 'mechanical' w

Kaizen projects: being honest about being off track

Projects, especially improvement projects, have a tendency to get off track. There is often a clear distinction between projects for customers and projects for ourselves. If our improvement projects fall behind then our customers won't be barking at us; it is no wonder that if something is going to slip it is our Kaizen endeavours. For some people this can be a tough conversation to have. No one wants to be a 'failure' and pride often gets in the way. In my experience it seems that it is believed to be far more credible to ignore the requirement to improve than to admit that we aren't making progress. So, if you find yourself (and your business) in this situation, what can you do about it? Let me share with you two options to increase the visibility in your business around progress with projects and four options to help get your projects back on track. Increasing visibility Ok, no more hiding the status of Kaizen activities . This also means no more being precious about