Kool Derby

There are some who believe that they can wait until tomorrow before taking action. The problem with this approach is that tomorrow might be too late. Those who often table action until a later date are usually those who have mastered the habit of procrastination, and they eventually forget what was so urgent just a few weeks back.

I do understand you have to create the business plan, run it by the important people in the organization, conduct risk management, consider best practices, and much more. To a certain extent, both process and protocol are important. However, you must avoid engaging in molasses management. In other words, taking action is important.

#1: The timing is wrong.

The timing will never be perfect. There are inherent risks in any business decision. I know some business leaders who are comfortable moving forward with 80% of the information. In the technology community, 50% might be all you can expect before the dynamics change.

The point here is that you must trust your instincts. Many of you have been in the same business for years, if not decades, and you must listen to your inner voice. You must either make a decision to tackle a new project, or wait for a better opportunity. In either case, you have to make a decision.

#2: Lack of resources.

Most organizations today face scarcity of resources. No one has resources sitting around, ready to jump in when the work arrives. In fact, companies are hiring fewer people to do even more work. You’ve all experienced the situation in which employees are cut and the work is spread among those who remain.

If you lack the people required to take on new work, consider the following: subcontracting, joint venture, outsourcing, or offshoring. Some options are better than others, and it largely depends on the type of work you do. With joint ventures or partnerships, you can expect to share the earnings, but you also spread the risk.

#3: You have too much on your plate.

All organizations have a ton of work on their plates. We’re all too busy. I remember not too long ago walking in downtown Pittsburgh, I asked a homeless person the following: “Sir, do you mind telling me where I can find the nearest grocery store?”  Without breaking stride, he responded: “I can’t help you right now. I’m running late.” This humorous example reminded me that nearly every person and company is overwhelmed with daily activities.

Do it Now!

Taking action means that you do anything to get you started. You might start writing the plan, or convene a focus group to discuss your options. The key is to create momentum. It’s important to seek guidance and feedback from those who will be involved in doing the work. By doing so, you are more likely to get buy-in to your vision.

Remember that you are going to face obstacles, especially at the outset. Some will even tell you that the opportunity has zero chance of succeeding. However, once you’ve done your planning and sought feedback from your core team, it’s time to take action. Developing this sense of urgency will get you into the ballgame, and then it’s just a matter of execution.