One Step That Doesn’t Help With Decision Paralysis

I had the chance to contribute an article for Lean Impact, a website devoted to applying Lean Startup principles to the nonprofit sector.

One Step to Skip When Facing Decision Paralysis

The post went live today and I’m happy to say it turned out great! A kindred spirit to Agile Lifestyle, Lean Impact is also looking at transferring agile thinking to a sphere of life other than software development.

My article is called You Have To Start Somewhere: 4 Steps to Eliminating Decision Paralysis. I’ve talked often about the crippling problem of analysis paralysis before (and its close cousin, decision paralysis). In the article, I discuss John Kotter’s distinction between true and false urgency and lay out 4 steps to beat decision paralysis in your work or life:

  1. Establish an initial plan
  2. Adapt & improve as you go
  3. Set up failure triggers
  4. Ask what is truly urgent

Click here to read the article in a new window. Seriously, I’ll wait.


One Step to Skip

Here’s one more idea for you in addition to that article. There’s an important step that many organizations take when confronted with a thorny problem. It’s a step I want you to skip if at all possible:

Throwing more money/time/effort at the problem.

That’s right. Often when we’re confronted with decision paralysis, our first instinct is to throw more time, money, or effort into it. If only we buckled down and worked harder, or paid experts to come in and solve this, we could move on.

Don’t. This is a trap. It’s far more valuable to go back to your initial plans and review your assumptions. Were you betting on a rosier set of circumstances than the reality bore out? If so, revise your thinking.

Reviewing your assumptions is far more fruitful than throwing cash or bodies at a problem you might not need to solve. Instead, you could sidestep it completely by looking at things in a different way.


That’s it for my first ever guest article for another site!

Please help spread the word by clicking here to Tweet the following:

“You Have To Start Somewhere: 4 Steps to Eliminate Decision Paralysis via @LeanImpact & @AgileLifestyle”


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