Is Slow Decision Making Killing Your Business?

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Slow Decision Making Could be Killing Your Business!

I have meet many business owners, entrepreneurs and decision makers of big corporate companies over the years and I’m always interested in finding out how they grow their companies to see if I can use some of their strategies to grow my own. However what I have found from experience that people are very quick to talk about the challenges they face and what’s holding their company back, which is mainly because of slow decision making.

I have frequently experienced this problem in my work as a consultant. One of my consulting clients builds low energy efficient homes in Scandinavia. Their problem was they were just one person in the business, they had very unreliable builders which was making projects late, leading to unhappy customers and their slow decision making was leading to a stressed, exhausted and overwhelmed business owner.

As a results orientated business coach, I’m particularly selective when it comes to taking on new clients however the results within 4 months of coaching this client was that they increased their prices by 20%, they recruited 3 new people, they won contracts on bigger deals, they created a new company to build houseboats and they set up a separate building company.

Slow decision-making costs you time, money and impacts relationships, culture and psychological factors. 

Slow decisions disrupt innovation and time it takes to implement new ideas. Your customers, clients and some of your team will get frustrated.

Stop being a perfectionist, as someone that trained and studied Olympic athletes we can analyses our performance, track our stats and measure our results however what is important is that we don’t get too wrapped in the numbers, probabilities and feeling bad about decisions that were made in the past.

You might recall the serious outcome for companies that have made slow decisions Here are three memorable examples: Blackberry was one of the leading cell phone manufacturers 10 years ago however they failed to innovate and adapt to the market. Their slow decision-making has led them to a massive fall in market share.

BHS was one of the UKs retail stores to collapse due to tough market conditions and failure to move with the times. Blockbuster the DVD and video retail chain failed to create online services until it collapsed having struggled to compete against online streaming services.

It’s important to understand that to speed up the decision- making process, you don’t need to gather all the research, stop waiting for the perfect time and go with your gut instinct.

Most decisions can be simple and others more complex which is why I use my skills as an athlete to help companies achieve a faster and more efficient way to achieve more clarity in the whole process.

Olympic athletes are particularly good at getting focused, I know from experience that Mo Farah eliminates his distractions and visualizes the end goal in his mind. Making faster decisions will help you achieve more focus and have the ability to let go.

Lessons from athletes on how to speed up decision making

  1. They study their competitors for strengths and weaknesses
  2. Have a strategy game plan, they know when to make the right move at the right time to win medals
  3. Know the importance of deadlines
  4. Accountability
  5. Make fast decisions by counting down from five to one then deciding Yes or No
  6. Question your decisions once you have decided what your decision is.
  7. Learn from the mistakes of other athletes that are more successful than you preventing you from making them, same as with business decisions

By improving your decision making skills all of your team will develop an ownership mentality, this is one way to increase their personal development. Coaching and mentoring played an important role for Mo Farah’s success.

As an entrepreneur I always got advised to learn from your mistakes and don’t repeat them. My philosophy is learning from the mistakes of others that have had success that you seek and don’t repeat them. Gold-winning athletes are particularly great at taking full responsibility for their actions and it’s the same in business if you have clear objectives.

All of your team will be able to feel that they are contributing rather than being stuck.

Success loves speed

Need help making faster decisions? Contact Adam Strong on