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Eyes on the Prize: Don’t get choked up at the decision point

As I was driving the highways across Pennsylvania a couple of weekends ago, I had plenty of opportunity to notice ("enjoy" would just not be the word to use here) a recurring traffic pattern. Regardless of how light or heavy the traffic flow or how large or small the highway, traffic always slowed where one highway intersected another. Even if no one was entering or exiting, the option to make an A or B decision could grind through traffic to a halt.

Decision points can be a challenge. If you do or have surfed the corporate wave, you likely have had the opportunity (“pleasure” would just not be the right word here) to sit in many a meeting where a group consensus has been required. Though you really don’t have anything insightful to contribute or an opinion one way or another, you feel pressure to express some opinion, so that no one pegs you as a brainless, non-contributing bit of jetsam. Multiply that by 12 to 20 participants, and suddenly everyone’s got a dog in the hunt. Suddenly the score is ideas, too many; decision, zero.

I’ve been in many a brand development session where this happens. Branding attracts ideas like a dog attracts fleas. Unfortunately, not all ideas are good ideas. How do you keep things on track, so the good ideas see the light of day and decisions can be made?

If you get off into the weeds, get back on track by going back to the second step. Keep your discussion relevant to the goal. Don’t be choked up by analysis paralysis. Keep your eyes on the objective and wise decisions will flow easily and smoothly.

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