How To Avoid Information Paralysis

We all want to act in the best way possible and to make a decision that gives the best possible outcome – in other words, the need to be right in management, and in all walks of life, is very strong.

Sometimes this drive to be right and to have our opinions, hunches and opinions proved correct is just too powerful for our own good.

This is made worse by the need we all have to be liked – even the most self-centred, autocratic manager has that buried somewhere within themselves, although they would never admit that of course. Making good decisions, being right a lot of the time, feeds that process, contributes to our success and makes us popular, essential even, to have around.

The problem we face is that there is just too much information available to us and the danger is that you can look at the information available for too long, seek out too much detail and drown in inactivity while doing so. There comes a point when you have to stop this self-defeating process and make a decision!

Try using the pointers below to get yourself out of that mess:

  1. Set a decision date and time: be clear on this point in time otherwise the stalemate will impact on those around you which will only build pressure and stress, leading inevitably to a poor or weakened decision
  2. Use those around you to sense-check your approach: involving others in the process widens the field of expertise in the process and will help develop your team by seeking out their opinions and exposing them to issues they have not yet experienced.
  3. Don’t get bogged down in the detail: tempting to dive into vast amounts of data and information, but what you want is knowledge and a good appreciation of the overall position, not a process that takes you off at a tangent. Less is very much more here! Too much detail and information stalls progress.
  4. Make mini-decisions that contribute to the big, overall decision: small, incremental decisions along the way, possibly as more detail and information comes to light, is always a sensible path to tread, building sequentially on your knowledge base and effectively guiding you towards a better quality decision and outcome.

In many ways, the decisions that we make are never final as change is a constant and decisions should always be reviewed and refreshed for the next time. Decisions can be repeated, refined and improved upon but only if we actually make that original decision in the first place by avoiding Information Paralysis!

Good Luck!

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