Analysis Or Procrastination?


During many encounters with successful and not-so-successful business leaders, I have always been intrigued by their diverse, and sometimes, contradicting styles of  decision-making.  Some analyze, some rush, some procrastinate, and some just decide! In this world of BIG & IMPERFECT DATA, one of the most crucial prerequisites to achieve business success is an entrepreneur’s ability to engage in a, what I would call, pragmatic analysis – an ability to analyze an opportunity or a problem without getting trapped in procrastination!

What is a pragmatic analysis? The dictionary definition of pragmatic suggests that any decision and the underlying analysis to qualify being pragmatic should meet 3 basis tenets :

  1. It should be logical (sensible) – being sensible requires a decision to be aligned with a sound business logic that is vetted by the wisdom in the subject matter.
  2. It should be realistic – It should be within the realm of possibility and not be based on fantasies or lies. e.g. Splitting hairs by the leadership on an issue that has little chance of occurrence can cost an organization millions of dollars. It also means that while analyzing the issue, one should avoid being fervently optimistic or depressingly pessimistic!
  3. It should be practical and not theoretical – theories follow the GIGO ( Garbage In, Garbage Out) rule as they are only as good as the assumptions they are based on. One should question these assumptions before spending time and efforts to accept the theoretical conclusions. Successful business managers ask themselves if the assumptions and the conclusions are too far-fetched, based on multiple unresolved dependencies (“if-then scenarios).  And if the answer is yes, they reject these ‘theories’.

Easy said than done?

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