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How to create more breakthroughs in your business -- FAST!

How to create more breakthroughs in your business -- FAST!

August 05, 2010

Is it better to get as much information as possible to make an informed decision? Of make a decision even if you don't have all the information you would like? The answer may surprise you ...

What do you think is better?

Get as much information as possible to make an informed decision? Or make a decision even if you don't have all the information you would like?

(Your answer will tell you a lot about yourself and how you run your business.)

I ask this of my clients all the time. And most people think it's a trick question. It really isn't and you may be surprised at the decision-making process I would argue is best.

You see, most people don't want to be viewed as making uninformed decisions so they'll choose option A: Gather as much information as possible and make a decision.

Here's the catch. If you follow that decision-making process, you'll never make a breakthrough in your business.


Because leaders who make more decisions, win! Simply by making more decisions, you create more action and learn more than if you analyze, research and evaluate an issue before making a decision.



He who makes the most decisions, wins!

This may seem counter-intuitive but by making more decisions you end up winning more often.

Even if you make wrong decisions (which you will at times!) you will still win a majority of the time. You simply have to be willing to take the risk. Move forward with the decision and be ready to make adjustments as you continue.

Here's a classic business problem that needed a decision. When FedEx began operations in the early 1970's they had to decide what kind of delivery service they were going to provide. The founder, Fred Smith, wanted to create a 'guaranteed delivery service for critical goods.'

(Take note: One of the first things Fred Smith knew about his business is that he needed a very strong guarantee to get businesses to send packages with his company. And then he built his business around how he was going to support that guarantee. Too often, businesses make the mistake of creating a guarantee last as if it was an afterthought. As a result, the guarantee is usually weak and is no different than any other 'unconditional, money-back guarantee, blah, blah, blah.')

Back to the decision Smith had to make about his delivery service. Package carriers were using regular passenger planes for deliveries. But Fred Smith knew he needed a better and more reliable system. But he had several decisions to make: Should they deliver only big packages or small packages? Should they deliver next day or 2nd and 3rd day packages? What would they do if they had excess capacity on the planes? Should they also fly passengers to offset the costs and bring in additional profits?

Smith was convinced that the way to create the company he had been dreaming about was to ONLY fly packages ' not people.

Smith quickly made the hard decision that FedEx would only deliver packages and let the rest of the unused space on the aircraft remain empty. The decision was huge and had giant impacts on the company.

But it allowed them to focus on what they do best: Deliver packages the next day or it's free. They smoked right by their closest competitor at the time, which was still wrestling with what to do with the same excess capacity dilemma. Sometimes they other company took passengers, sometimes they took oversized packages, and subsequently they got lost in the dust.

Making lots of decisions quickly allows you to focus like a beam of light from a laser instead of from a flashlight.

How? Lower your risk tolerance. When it comes to making a decision about how to market your company or put procedures in place in your company, allow yourself to take certain risks. (If you're a surgeon, however, on behalf of all patients everywhere we would like you to keep risk tolerance level extremely high!)

When it comes to business decisions, you want to make sure you're at least 75% right. You may need to adjust your thinking a bit and learn how to operate even if you don't have all the information you would like. This is a common frustration and holds people back from excelling.

Get used to making decisions without all the information. When faced with an issue give yourself a deadline and commit to making a decision by say this time next week at noon, and then go for it. Will you need to make adjustments? Probably. But you'll be able to make even more informed decision based on what you learned from your experiences.

Ty it. Practice it. And you'll be amazed at the results.

Always taking you from where you are to where you want to go,


Jon Goldman, President