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    Entries in momentum (2)


    Will we, won't we, maybe... umm: the killer of business momentum

    Indecision is such a business and momentum killer

    Think of a meeting or conversation; there are ideas, possibilities, but then it all screeches to a halt because there isn’t a decision. Or wait, here’s the decision: lets set another meeting date and talk about it all again next time. Urgh! 
    I think we are losing the drive to decide. 

    Yet decisions are such a vital component of leadership. They help you choose a course of action. They set a direction. They help express your leadership. They give people some certainty in this crazy uncertain world. 

    How about this: earlier this week I heard of more than 30 team members being on the receiving end and consequences of the indecision of a senior manager in a large organisation …  the leader couldn’t decide what to do with the most important part of their strategy day, which is just a few days away. 

    What? It’s a big and important strategy day. And it’s that big and important and you can’t decide!?  

    You still have no certainty on what you want to achieve, how you will do that, and you’re still oscillating and circulating and debating and ruminating over what could possibly be done.

    And it’s a strategy day. And it’s important. And it’s involving other people. And it’s about the future of the team and what you work on. 

    Whatever the details and the whys and wherefores and ‘yeah but maybe theys’ that you may be scripting in your mind about this situation, the point here is that a decision wasn’t made. Over a period of time. No decision. 

    There’s a lack of leadership right there. That’s what it looks like.

    It's Indecision. It's Oscillation. And Hesitation. 

    Contemporary leaders must give some their teams certainty over the stuff they CAN give certainty on. And making decisions is one of them. Decisions help give people certainty. 

    Leadership is about making heaps of decisions. Every day. Deciding which things will you tell, which you’ll share, ask or do; which things will you instigate, delegate, escalate, mitigate.    Yet it’s that flipping from one view to another, unable to make a call or to put a marker in the sand… it's that 'dicking around’ I call it, the not deciding that is a momentum and engagement killer. 

    Do we fear that: 

    • it will be the wrong decision
    • it could really stuff things up
    • maybe it’s not totally right
    • is it the best we can possibly do, maybe we can do better later with a bit more time
    • stuffing this up will hurt my career
    • maybe this will cause conflict … and a bunch of other hesitation hang ups.  

    Along with authenticity, clear communication and setting visions, leaders dear leaders, you need to make a FREAKING DECISION. And make it fast. Make one now. 

    Failing Fast

    If it doesn’t work, that is also known as ‘failing fast’. And you will soon know if it’s not right. Failure and failing fast is very ‘now’; it’s contemporary, hip and the done thing in agile teams and organisations. But you’ve got to decide so you can act and then see what happens. If you don’t decide, then you’re not leading.  
    If you’re not making a decision you’re not stepping into action, you’re not running an experiment and you’re not leading. You’re lying… in waiting.

    Dangerously Safe

    It’s like you are balancing on a high wire, not moving towards the end goal and neither are you reversing or backing up to go along some other high wire. You don’t even have anything to help you balance on that wire. You’re a balance-less high wire walker. And that’s dangerous.  
    You’re putting yourself in a situation where a little gust of wind, a little rattle on the high wire is something that could topple you over. That wouldn’t be a good ending.   

    An End to Choice

    "To decide". It means to end and terminate the choices you have. It means to ‘cut off’.

    Don’t be the person or role that someone else decides to cut off because you’re not making decisions in your team or organisation. 

    Decisions are leadership.Do them. Make them. Lead. 


    Don't fight stupid - make more awesome  

    Ask any of the talented improvisers at Impro Melbourne and they'll tell you that 'yes' is an almost magic word. When they're on stage, making things up, for the entertainment of an audience, they live for hearing a 'yes' from their fellow performers.

    'Yes...' allows them to build on, add to and develop a story line, an idea, a thought.

    Whereas a 'no' hits them like a bat over the head! Thud! Momentum stopped.

    It's harder to be creative, innovative or do your best work if you keep bumping into 'no'.

    At the Agile India conference I attended and presented at this past week, keynote speaker Martin Fowler mentioned in his presentation on 'Software Design in the 21st Century' the sweet phrase of 'don't fight stupid; make more awesome'.

    Looking into the phrase more, I found that Jesse Robbins, from the same sort of technology field said this and uses it as somewhat of a philosophy. 

    Jesse said:
    “If you keep bumping into ‘no,’ and the organization makes it hard to get to ‘yes,’ you are going to have a long, slow, painful death. Get out of there!

    “Every time I tried to win over stupid, I regretted it. On the other hand, every time I’ve gotten people to swing around and build a movement, I remember all those moments and felt good every day, no matter how hard I worked.”

    If you're battling against some no's where you are at the moment:

    • Yield.
    • Shift.
    • Pivot.

    Head off over there, in that direction and make awesome things happen, using your expertise, your capabilities and your knowing that you are on to something brilliant. 

    Yes. Go for it. Make more awesome. We're waiting for it.