There’s a simple, human reason why behaviours happen time and time again in my view. We are creatures of habit and familiarity. It is much more comforting to keep hammering away at what we know than it is to stop, reappraise the problem and completely redesign the playbook.
Relentless speed and ubiquitous impatience have spawned an approach to strategy based on “not enough time”. The underpinning philosophy is that there’s either not enough minutes in the day to do the thinking, or even if these can be found, the strategy will be outmoded by the time the company gets to implement it.
Wrong. It will almost certainly take far less time to strategise the road ahead than it took to get into trouble. And it will cost a whole lot less than reacting to another bad snap decision.
However, those who hate change can always fall back on a simple tactic. If in doubt, raise more doubt …
“What if it doesn’t work?”
“But it’s not working now.”
“OK, what if it works even worse?”
We’ve all been in those meetings.
For the action-addicted, it is much better to tweak what you are doing based on precedent or aversion. “We’ll move when they move.” Or “let’s just wait and see shall we?”
And we’ve all been there when money and time have been spent acting out “answers” that simply don’t stand up to analysis. The answers fail, because they’re not real answers. They’re actions based on reaction, impatience and subjectivity.
Or they are inactions – initiatives that are so cautious that they advance nowhere and therefore change nothing.
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