When it is time for the leadership of a company to consider significant shifts such as business model, ownership, organizational structure, and/or mission it is wise to do sufficient research before diving into the implementation of new strategies. On the other hand, it is also important to focus and complete the research step in a timely manner. A team that is susceptible to perfectionism or a leader who tends to worry or just hectic schedules can stretch the research out too long.
Why is that a problem? For one thing, the world is changing pretty fast out there. Taking too long to complete research just generates outdated information.
Plus, when research goes on too long, it invites doubt within the leadership team and skepticism at the mid management level. A team that could/should be excited about its future can lose confidence in their abilities to lead change. When research takes too long, the challenges involved with the proposed changes grow larger and larger in the minds of team members. By the time research reports and proposals are presented, a leadership team will have become disinterested or disillusioned and wonder if change will be possible. A tired leadership team can become tempted to settle for simpler strategies, choose what is familiar and comfortable, and forget the compelling reasons they were even considering and researching significant change(s) in the first place.
I’ve seen bright, capable people freeze from analysis paralysis. Our team has been called in to help dozens of leadership teams recover from analysis paralysis that resulted from bringing in the huge consulting firms or just letting their own research go on too long. Research develops a life of its own sometimes.
In one company, the development of analysis paralysis helped the owners see that they had the wrong President. The leadership of another firm experiencing paralysis scheduled a “do over” of the last strategic planning session to revisit the premises and proposed strategies now that they had so much more information. They recommitted to the new strategies but also had to do some focused problem solving about how to prevent analysis paralysis from happening to them again. The leadership of a third company quietly met with one another to fess up that they no longer have much ambition for the company and are more ready for retirement than they had thought. So they increased the emphasis on succession planning to make the proposed strategies possible…since the strategies were fortunately still relevant. A fourth leadership team chose to deny that they had analysis paralysis, reduced their to do lists, and tried to coast… only to face dramatically increased turnover of bright ambitious managers over the next several months.
Aldonna R. Ambler, CMC, CSP has earned the right to be called THE GROWTH STRATEGIST®. She has won over 2 dozen national and statewide “entrepreneur of the year” awards for the resilient growth of her international businesses across 4 recessions. Her midsized BtoB clients get on…and then stay on…the published lists of the fastest growing privately held companies. She owns and operates a suite of companies that help privately held midsized companies achieving accelerated growth with sustained profitability® through opportunity & resource analysis, 4 approaches to strategic planning, executive advisory services, growth financing, and targeted search. 2012 is Ambler’s 8th year hosting a weekly peer-to-peer-to-peer syndicated on line talk show that features interviews with CEOs/Presidents of midsized companies (typically between $20 and 200 Mil/yr) sharing success tips about the growth strategy-of-the-week. An archive of over 300 interviews is available at www.GrowthStrategistShow.com. She can be reached toll free at 1-888-Aldonna or at Aldonna@AMBLER.com.
Known as The Growth Strategist®, Aldonna Ambler built and grew a suite of companies to help midsized B2B companies achieve accelerated growth with sustained profitability® A Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), Ambler has addressed over 2000 audiences and hosted a syndicated online talk show about growth strategies for 9 years. As a growth financing intermediary, Ambler raised over $1 Bil dollars for midsized companies. The winner of over 2 dozen prestigious national and statewide "entrepreneur of the year" awards, Ambler is available to speak about “profitable growth during any economy” and/or serve on the board of a growth-oriented privately-held company.