Sunday, September 15, 2013

Fast Decision Making

Fast Decision Making

I recently put my finger on one other thing that has been making us grow quickly. Have you ever had to go to court? The lawyers are happy to put off for next month all that could have been done today. You have to endure at least a whole morning if you go to court. Nobody is motivated to make anything move faster. These people get paid more, the longer they take. Is anyone happy there? Can you see the frustration of a bloated system that has no corporate motivation to be profitable? They are cursed with too much money from a government source so they don’t require efficiency. If a new company were to operate like that, would they succeed?

Bureaucracy Decision Making

A government institution or an old company with lots of money has the luxury of bureaucracy. My company did not have that luxury and I thank God every day for it. We had no money. We had to make money. So we had to make fast decisions and stay light on the long winded discussion panels. It has made us sleek and profitable.
There are 3 partners at CIBN. We all are free agents with the ability to make decisions in our own area of expertise. If it falls into the area of one of the others we hook up that process immediately and let it go. I don’t second guess Zechariah’s decision to reject a potential member to one of his groups, or to place a member in a new group, or to book an event that will help the group grow. He is free to make a decision. He needs to be able to do what needs to be done to get a sale and he doesn’t need my permission to succeed. He already has it. Bob is a relationship builder. If a club needs a little more love, we send in Bob. Bob also works on processes behind the scenes. He handles banking and coordinates with the bookkeepers and he is free to make decisions. We communicate as a team every day and talk about the decisions we are making. We share why we feel we need to make those decisions and often we are asking each other for feedback but we never have to worry about emotional responses, manipulation, or dragging feet. We get things done.

Healthy Decision Making

I am the CEO of the CIBN. That means I have the power to decide. I oversee the marketing and give out the assignments to the printers, the writers, Loyal2U and I final edit the publications. I decide who goes into what spot and why. I meet with most of the sponsors of the network. We have packages which were put into place after research, but research was gathered, advisors were polled and a decision was made. If something does not work, I change it. I monitor it. I decide to try something else. I don’t need someone’s permission to do so. I don’t need someone’s permission to negotiate a deal or make a sale. We determined what the boundaries are for those things as a team and as long as I stay within those boundaries I don’t need to even discuss it. However, out of respect for my team I often do discuss it, or at least bring them up to date.
At CIBN we believe this is healthy decision making. Sometimes we do make a mistake and then we have to pay for it, but it is a known fact that leaders make decisions quickly and stick to their decisions. They only change course after a significant test trial. If prices are set and then we make sales, there is no point in changing the price, but we know that 100 people need to be approached before we can say with any certainty that the price point does not work. We make decisions based on facts but we decide quickly.

Disturbing Decision Making

In business though I see some disturbing things. I see sole proprietors that can’t make up their mind. Fear and indecision keeps them from moving forward. I see people quitting a project before they gave it a real chance. I see salesmen claiming their product is no good when they have not even had 20 appointments to present it. They are swayed by the decisions of a couple of naysayers. I have seen new members buy a membership, come twice and then not show up anymore because networking did not produce a referral in two meetings. They made a decision and now they don’t stick to it. They have no sense of delayed gratification so they miss the long term results. I see corporations with engineers and IT people as the CEO and that seldom works because they want to examine every decision and make it a month or six month process before they get all in. I see companies that are old or that have too much money tying the hands of their decision makers and slowing down what needs to be done to keep business coming in. I see salesmen that don’t know how to sell, or close. They can’t ask for a decision from their prospect. Sometimes it is because their company has not given them any wiggle room to negotiate so they make a decision to spice up the offer on the spot. They can’t get a quick decision from their potential client who would buy immediately if it could be done right now. Sometimes these sales people are uncomfortable in making their own decisions so they are even more uncomfortable “selling” or asking for a decision from their prospects.
Long and lean is the sales machine – one must be able to make a decision, or nothing gets done.

We did make some mistakes making quick decisions. So then we had to decide how to fix it. We made that decision and moved on rapidly. We are able to make decisions so we succeed faster than some who get bogged down in the long line of discussion.

Slow And Nasty Decision Making
Trying to work with companies that have no decision making processes or slow decision making processes is a frustrating endeavour. The fact is that some salesmen will recognize the long process of this sales cycle and invest in it, but a smart salesman gets a few of these in the funnel and then goes and looks for real business people who can make a real decision. A salesman will starve if he waits for the big one that might someday make a decision based on all the accumulated data that went through the repeated board meetings covering the same things over and over again. These processes hurt people. They cost money. They starve unsuspecting sales people who try to do business with them. They cost the money of the decision makers too because they could be spending that time more productively. It is just plain nasty.

A company that makes decisions this way is also sowing a dangerous seed. What we sow is what we grow. If you take six months to pay for something you could have paid for today others will do this to you. It is Karma or the law of attraction, or what comes around – goes around, or whatever you want to call it. I once had an engineer tell me that his company would pay me every 90 days. I responded that we would then begin the work in 90 days from now. We pay as quickly as we can. We move fast. Others move fast with us. That is the seed we sowed. It is making a really nice crop.
This week I had a discussion with a handful of entrepreneurs about this subject. Their viewpoint was enlightening. Each of them also make quick decisions that they typically stick with. Each of them expressed frustration with those who do not make quick decisions. Each of them acknowledged that they consider such drawn out behavior unprofessional. They compared it to government inefficiency. Each of them spoke of their longest termed business relationships as being with corporations that had a clear leader who had the ability to make a decision or who at least had a defined process to get an answer quickly. Some of them shared stories of firing CEOs that tied up the decision making process and how turn around happened immediately after someone had the courage to make a decision.

So I have added one more thing to what has caused us to have quicker than average success. We have the ability to make a decision and we decided to be successful.
If you need more facts, great... Ask more questions, gather more data, and then pool it together in a strategy meeting and make a decision. Learn to make decisions and feel comfortable with them, and if you cannot decide quickly, step down from the "ownership of decisions." Hire a CEO and let them lead, because in today's world everything is changing fast. Dinosaurs die because they move too slow. Social media changes daily. Being engaged is being ready to respond to situations but also to prepare in advance for what is coming. A decision maker is ahead of the curve, not continually responding to it in a knee jerk reaction.

Controlling Decision Making
If you have to feel like you are in control of every decision, I have a newsflash for you. YOU ARE NOT IN CONTROL ANYWAY! Life, natural disasters, God, your spouse, your kids, your competition, your health and several other factors continually rebel against your control. Get over it. You have as much chance using a Magic 8 ball to make a healthy decision as you do from operating well out of a spirit of control. If you feel like you need to be in control, you are totally out of control and even worse oblivious to your own demise. Learn to overcome that by making decisions and allowing others on your team to make decisions. You will be glad that you did!
Always Loyal2U,
Kerry George

Kerry George is the CEO of the Canadian Imperial Business Network and the Calgary Business Network and she is a happy capitalist! Kerry works tirelessly bringing new value to the CIBN members and is always looking for methods to increase their bottom line. She is a speaker at many member events sharing knowledge about online marketing, sales techniques, motivation, LinkedIn, networking, entrepreneurship, and more. Kerry is a serial entrepreneur so she knows how to be a happy capitalist and how to create other happy capitalists in the CIBN!

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