By Evan Wise
Overreaction Affects Your FutureLately we hear a lot about overreaction and how it affects our decisions. Too many people overreact when faced with a deadline or a big unexpected challenge. Often those decisions made in haste affect many decisions for a long time as the cascade effect creates a domino effect on the business for a long time.
On the other hand, overreaction has been responsible for some amazing things. When the Soviet Union launched a grapefruit sized satellite called Sputnik into space, the U.S. overreaction created momentum that led us to the moon and caused us to revamp our math and science education efforts that positively affected two generations of students. Sputnik only had the ability to send a ping and it fell to earth a short time later. Voyager, our overreaction is still orbiting the earth. Sometimes overreaction can have a positive effect so proper scrutiny of reactions is important.
Gather Data to Manage Overreaction
In business we often overreact to fads or intuitive thinking. We “hear” about a competitor taking action so we launch into defensive or offensive actions to make sure we don’t lose ground. The more information we have and data we can review, the more likely we are to make the logical and rational decision. The more information we have about trends, vendors and the direction of our industry, the more likely we are to make the right decisions. That is why the accuracy and efficiency of the POS system with the right analytical tools to help us stay on course is important. A trade association gives us the broad perspective to test our theories and ideas against a robust collection of vendors, competitors and colleagues.
Information Leads to the Best DecisionsThe old adage of carpenters that cautions “measure twice and cut once”, serves business owners well. As business managers we must listen before jumping to a conclusion or worse, a decision! Understanding and practicing effective listening skills are crucial, especially when stress levels are high and demands for a decision are most urgent. A valid problem solving template can make sure you are addressing an issue that is truly significant. It can make certain you gather the data to validate its priority. Taking time to identify the causes can help you focus on the underlying issues. Finally, getting all the parties together to identify the right solution makes all the difference between action and the right actions.
Predict the Future and Make It BetterIt is easier to trace back from the outcome to the source of the problem. It seems like it should have been obvious yet no one saw what would happen! The real key is to be able to see the outcome by piecing together the facts and information available to forecast what will happen. Then the challenge is to make the right decisions to guide the path to a more desired outcome. Economists, pundits, consultants and financial planners are paid a lot to be able to do that. Whenever you have a better idea of what will happen in the future, you can make better decisions today to be prepared for that future.
Take Action to Find The Right PathAs a manager, it is up to you to lead the team to success. The quickest decisions don’t often get your team across the goal line. The best decisions are what wins in business. Often finding the right guidance is the key to greater success. When you are on the right path, stick with it through the ups and downs. When you have a great consultant, follow his or her advice and keep that expert working for you for the long haul. If you are working with a consultant who is not able to lead you to a more profitable and successful future it is time to start looking around to upgrade. Make the right decisions for the right reasons and don’t overreact to what just happened!