There are times when decision-making can be so challenging that the preferred action is no action. Whether it affects a department or an entire company, it is not uncommon to find managers avoiding making decisions or delaying the decision-making process in hopes that things will either work themselves out, or that new information will present. While this tactic may work, it is also important to consider the consequences of a delayed decision. Waiting may create more problems than it potentially solves.
When putting off a decision in the workplace, consider these possible consequences: Is it going to hurt anyone to have a decision postponed? Will it cost the company more money or potentially risk losing a client, customer, account or some other consideration? Sometimes, a quick action is better than weighing all the options and then coming up with a decision.
For example, if there is a faulty product, it is better to issue a quick response and recall than to wait until someone gets hurt. Remember the term “due diligence” when it comes to decision-making on the job: Are you doing everything possible to act in the best interest of the consumer, employees, the community and others who may be affected by a particular problem?
There are those situations where delaying a decision actually costs the company money. The recent gulf oil spill is a good example of how delaying reasonable problem-solving cost the company in terms of money, good will, public opinion, etc. AND it cost the environment and residents as well. While there are times when weighing all the options and taking everything into consideration is in order, there are other times when the consequences of delaying a decision make it clear that a decision should be made quickly. Weigh the pros and cons and be sure to consider all the options and then make the best decision possible under the circumstances.