How often have you made a decision and later realized you made a mistake? It happens more often than you think, especially in this era of Instant Gratification (IG). While the term is used less often, the desire for speedy results remains a staple in the lifestyle of younger generations, many of whom are successful business owners.
Decisions are made with incomplete information. Choices are made without thought of consequences. Stress is elevated with the likelihood of errors being made. Speed is the driver, and the end result is … often … a waste of time.
Enter the mantra of the 7 T’s: Take The Time To Think Things Through!
There was a familiar saying when I was doing production work that is appropriate: “If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?” Quality is often the casualty when speed is preferred. Bob Guest, a good friend and co-worker at the U.S. Junior Chamber of Commerce, ran the organization’s printing operations. He was often quoted as telling staff members you could have your choice of three options: Quality, Speed, or Cost … but not all three.
To explain further, if you wanted something printed quickly, you either paid more to have a high quality piece produced fast or got a piece of inferior quality because the price was your main consideration for getting it done quickly. If quality was most important, you paid more to have it produced quickly or had to be patient if the cost needed to be controlled. And if the cost was your primary concern, you sacrificed quality to get your piece done quickly or got superior quality with a longer lead time from start to finish of your printing project.
Now, you could have all three if you took the time to think things through and planned to get the highest quality within your budget provided you gave the printer enough time to get it done in time to meet your deadline.
Weigh the variables. How essential is it that you make a decision now? Can you take an extra five minutes, or an hour or two to get more input or gather more information and make a better decision? Have you taken the time to think that choice all the way through? Is there a better alternative?
Something else to think about: How much time (and money) will it cost you to overcome the wrong decision?
If you’ve narrowed your choices for a new vice president of finance to three candidates but you believe there may be a better person to fill the slot, do you choose one of the three or put off the decision and look for other options?
Keep in mind that at some point you need to make the decision. Taking time without deciding can, on occasion, result in a decision being made on its own, and that’s okay. Procrastination is a choice. You need to realize, however, that if the ultimate choice falls in your lap, you must decide at some point. The time you allocate to making the choice depends on the importance of the decision.
Deciding where to go for lunch can be made in seconds, depending on the factors of speed, quality, and price as well as what your taste buds are craving. Choosing a new member for the corporate board of directors requires time to interview, check backgrounds and references, and other vetting procedures such as potential contributions to the corporate culture before the selection is weighed.
The mantra of the 7 T’s also involves seeking outside professional counsel or market research when appropriate. The Brand Irons team is a good resource to help you and your business think things through because we can play devil’s advocate and we always look at your scenario from the perspective of the consumer.
Take some time and think about it.