We live in an age where there is an oversupply of choices and options.
I remembered, I was two or three, when we only had 2 channels in our black and white television set which was given away by a generous relative. Those days when only a few people in the community can afford to own a set, the whole community will gather to watch whatever show it had on. It was fun, having all your neighbors in one room, all glued to the tube. Those were the days.
Now, we have hundreds of channels to choose from cable and over the video streaming, there are hundreds of shows to watch. There are also pay-per-view channels to choose from and of course, the extinct DVD/CD watching, which became a staple in 90s and early 2000s.
How is this oversupply of choices make for decision-making?
We become paralyzed, unable to make the right choice.
We have to conduct research to suit our 'unique' situation and preferences, and most of the time, postpone making a decision.
When the need to become more informed is a prerequisite, it has become too much of a burden to even do it.
Most of the time, we listen and rely on the most popular feedback or comment about the product or service from friends and people we trust.
This has not changed although, there are more creative and insidious ways than ever before to promote and spread buzz around. There is a store in our area that says 'closing sale' for few consecutive years now. They haven't closed ever.
This paralysis analysis over products and services will continue because we will have more choices for some things and less for some things in the future. That distinction is something that we need to grapple on.
At the microcosm of the decision-making, here are some ways to stamp out the paralysis analysis:
1. Know the 'musts' and be open to 'preferences.'
There are certain things you can't live without and there are certain things your spouse/children or relatives or friends would prefer more than you do. You can live with the latter.
2. Know the real need it is trying to resolve.
The seller will sell you all kinds of features but is it actually resolving the need, replacing the old, and giving you a new framework to live with?
3. Investigate but keep an open mind.
There are tons of fake news and comments about products and services. 1/2 of the people will say it is good and half will say don't even go there. But it is up to you to you know what you don't know and try it before you can make an honest judgement.
How are you dealing with too many choices and considerations? Share your thoughts here.
The Fraser Canyon is beautiful and treacherous at the same time. It is not for new drivers as it is one of the oldest roads in B.C. Traversing this road takes skill, planning, and masterful execution to get through unscathed. It also takes familiarity with these roads to be able to set contingency measures along the way.
There are sharp turns, zigzags, and steep hills, and difficult narrow passes. It is important to stay awake, alert, and anticipatory of the next difficult move.
Taking sharp turns in management parlance has a different meaning. It means getting out of your normal situation (whatever that normal is) and taking risks to reinvent yourself, your organization, and your initiatives to take it to the next level, leaving behind anything that doesn't help you get there.
What are the signs saying that you need to take the next sharp turn? Traffic signs help you navigate difficult roads and alerting motorists of the potential dangers on the road. There are also signs that alert you that you are 'stuck' without you knowing:
1. People in the organization are defensive, conservative, and fearful of needful change;
2. People in the organization refuse to heed to environmental changes and trends that affect the business;
3. People are comfortable with the level of growth and do not want to 'rock' the boat that much;
4. Progress takes time and the next growth is such an uphill climb compared to when you are starting;
5. Deals run out, market shrinks, customers/clients stop buying for some reason;
6. The management is protective of earlier successes and cannot imagine a different future;
Some of these signs represent the truism that past success does not determine future performance.
Relaxing and cruising along is fine on a nice day in a nice road.
Do not do that when you are building your business or organization.
Last week, I experimented in a situation using my negotiation and persuasion skills. It was a classic-high demand, low supply equation. I broached the idea a couple of months ago, accepted what is being offered, and asked for the increase. It was granted right there and then. No details needed.
Apparently, when I asked, either I get a "no" or a "yes," but I always ask because, you will never know unless you try. I had fun asking for things that can surely get me a no, but it's the thrill of asking that exhilarates me.
One lesson in enhancing your executive presence is to always ask the right question and be prepared to get what you want!
You are leaving monies on the table by not acting in the moment, acting for your (organization) best interests, and being good at it.
Increase your self esteem, increase your value to society, and increase your personal effectiveness.
Mission-based organizations should think twice about creating more mission work without the full support and wisdom from a business sustainability standpoint.
Most of the time, they wrestle with the fact that since they have the work of helping, they should be able to marshal resources, support, and other important resources to fully realize their objectives. This is never automatic.
It takes a lot of courage and guts to realize that mission is not enough and will not be sufficient to carry the organization through its many stages of development.
If there is no evolution in management and business understanding, the mission becomes unproductive-"hence, give me because I give this back" will later on become subject to more critical and demanding requirements from society. This is painful to see as many organizations languish in near obsolescence without realizing their fullest potential.
There is only one way- to review their business model and ask the most important question: if this is not working for us, can we be flexible in getting to our objectives through an alternative model of doing and being?
Let's approach this with an open mind and an open heart.
If you look at the best people in every industry, job, or occupation anywhere in the world, you will notice that there is one thing that they do consistently, incessantly, and effectively. They engineer their evolution.
To pick at and blame the circumstances, the weather, your spouse, the economy, the competition, the politicians, the robots, and the social media for all the bad things that are happening in your business, career, and life is like saying, "Poor me, I have no control and maybe just curl up at home and stay safe!"
We can all do more than that!
The best competent people I know have used their assets to become the epitome of their best bankable selves, especially in the future.
The future of work is about the unique offering, abilities, and massive differentiation. To stand out in the sea of gig workers, part-time hobbyists, and Alexas, it is not just incumbent upon the professionals to be the best but also be the top 2% of the pyramid.
Standardization, conformity, and harmonization are a thing of the past. The new worker is an agile maven with multiple skills and competencies that can run around robots and machines out of their batteries. This new worker has high-touch qualities that eliminate the isolation in the customer experience and puts back the human intelligence missing in many transactions.
Work will no longer be a division between your social time, family time, and paying activities. These activities will become wrapped around within the lifestyle and talents of the individual. The remote will dominate the marketplace, and new products and services will serve this new arrangement which represents every other individual outside the cubicle norm.
The most evolved will win big in this new wide world of work.