Drive through the smoke…

Wikipedia defines Analysis paralysis as

Analysis paralysis or paralysis by analysis is an anti-pattern, the state of over-analyzing (or over-thinking) a situation so that a decision or action is never taken, in effect paralyzing the outcome. A decision can be treated as over-complicated, with too many detailed options, so that a choice is never made, rather than try something and change if a major problem arises.

Too often, we are stuck in trying to understand everything in order to deliver on something.



In NASCAR racing there is often a crash in front of you and smoke rises from the cars. In this case you cannot clearly see the clear path ahead. The driver risks running into the car in front. However they are in a race and even though the path is not clear they need to pick a lane and drive through the smoke,  hoping they picked the right lane. Hopefully they have enough information to define the likelihood of where the car crash is and can avoid it.

We often have enough data to tell us of the risks and have mitigated the potential disaster, we may, like the driver, not have all the information neatly packaged up for the perfect decision, but we do need to progress, so we make the best estimate we can and move forward. We will like the driver, be able to quickly decide if we have made the right decision and usually this is not a life or death situation, as it is for the driver. So we can adjust as we go, as the smoke clears and improve or redirect to increase our chances of success. This is often a trait of leaders, that they can make the decision and move forward and are not afraid of failure. As we do not live with the risks associated with NASCAR racing, we can adjust as more information becomes available. Leaders know when they have enough information to make the decision on the right path. Part of being a leader is to be able to guide people through the smoke.

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One thought on “Drive through the smoke…

  1. Pingback: Be Decisive… | Old Man Rambles

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