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Do you suffer from “analysis paralysis”?

By July 1, 2013April 25th, 2014Learnings

When you have to make a decision do you spend a lot of time researching “every which way”, consider all the options, set up a spreadsheet, gather lots of opinions and then reach “analysis paralysis”?

Is your excessive analysis a way of procrastinating or hiding your lack of self-confidence? Or do you frustrate your staff by making them go off to find ever more answers rather than biting the bullet and making the investment, installing the system, implementing the new work practice etc?

Would it help to remind yourself that you will never know it all? Knowledge and understanding constantly evolve. Recall Copernicus’ view of the world versus what we know about the sun and the planets today. Scientific discoveries, technology upgrades, medical procedures, theories of how we learn and develop mean that nothing is fixed.

Successful decisions can be made with, say, 70%, of the answers. From my investment experience it was evident that the additional time and effort to get “all” the answers didn’t pay off. We live in a risky and exciting world. Clearly, practice and learning from failures will teach you when enough is enough.

In this series see also my earlier posts Can you ever be too analytical?, The Big Picture and The pitfalls of the compare and contrast model.

Are you able to share some experiences where your need for certainty or knowing it all caused you to miss an investment opportunity, a deal or devolving to your colleagues?

Send me a reply below, email directly to or call me on UK +44 (0)20 7226 3611 or +44 (0) 7952 068133.


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