Not So Fast


Not So Fast
© Zerophoto

Your Business

The conference room is quiet. Everyone there knows that a solution is critical; the company’s future depends on a decision that must be made by management immediately.

Or does it? Slow down a bit. Don’t let yourself be bulldozed. Take time to think this through. There might be a better way to go.

Those of us who have had to make snap decisions in the past may have gotten a little too accustomed to solving problems like this on the fly. Often a more considered approach will produce better results.

Note: Those persons who are widely known to make snap decisions are also more easily taken advantage of by opponents in tough negotiations.

Additional reflection is usually beneficial, particularly when important long-term issues are involved. A slight delay in the decision will seem insignificant later.

Action that results from thoughtful analysis may head off a host of unexpected negative ramifications in the future. 

Yes, I know there are arguments about what is best in the broad expanse of management decision-making, which lies between the “shoot from the hip” and “paralysis by analysis” extremes. Individual personalities and backgrounds cause managers to lean one way or another, and that can be frustrating. 

Maybe a plaque should be hung somewhere saying, “Not so fast; there may be other factors to consider,” to remind everyone that some situations are more complex than they may initially appear.

There are occasions when additional data may be required before an informed decision can be made. And the passage of time can unexpectedly reveal important information—good and bad—which had not been previously known.

Circumstances may look quite different when more facts are available, and early “gut decisions” made in haste are often just plain wrong.

Here are a few cautionary examples:

1.“Everybody’s doing it; let’s follow the crowd!”

Not so fast. That’s no way to run a successful business. We could get away with that as kids, but business executives are supposed to be smarter than that. Note: Those companies that have become unnecessarily involved in social fads or politics are paying dearly for it.

2. “That prospective supplier is very convincing, and we can save money. Let’s switch.”

Not so fast. Be cautious in making such a move. Note: A well-respected stationery supplier switched some of its business to a Mexican manufacturer, and now its note cards don’t print well and its adhesive shipping labels don’t stick. How respected is that company now?

3. “COVID-19 can be controlled by locking everything down and restricting normal activity.” 

Not so fast. We were willing to do almost anything to halt the virus spread because we were scared, but the corrective measures taken were often misdirected. Many government fiats hurt more than helped. If a similar threat appears in the future, there should be more thoughtful planning and less rigid control of the populace. 

4. “All cars sold by 2035 must be electric.”

Not so fast. There are major problems with the availability of critical materials and guaranteed electric power from the grid. Such government decrees alone cannot provide long-term results; businesses will make it happen when there is an identifiable
market for it.  

Jack Goodhue, management coach, can be reached at

Related Topics

Business    Management