During détente back in the days of Gorbachev, a group of Russian diplomats was taken to an American supermarket. Contrary to the expectations of the American hosts, the Russians were not delighted with the choice of foods. Instead, they were paralyzed by choices. Similarly, the very best salespeople in men’s stores won’t show a customer the full array of ties to choose from because they often won’t choose any tie. Instead, they will set out 2-3 shirt and tie combinations for the customer to choose from, which dramatically increases the odds of a purchase.
I see a similar phenomenon occurring in organizations today: People and organizations are overwhelmed by too much choice–particularly the choice of what they should be working on. When everything is a priority, nothing is a priority. Be aware of this and make things easier to decide. One of the enormous benefits of a strategic plan is that it narrows choice. But the benefits only accrue if the leadership maintains organizational focus and limits meandering, tangents, and forces of misdirection.
Forbes blogpost – If you missed my recent post about strategy implementation with marketing strategist Dorie Clark (who also blogs for Harvard Business Review and Huffington Post,) take a look here.
© Bob Legge 2013 All rights reserved
Bob Legge is the Strategic Edge providing organizations with the ability to achieve their most audacious goals. His clients have included Fortune 500 companies, mid-size companies, non-profits, education and government. To find out more, contact Bob at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at (585) 305-7853.
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