Right now we’re all in the process of rewriting the rules of what’s normal. And I mean everybody – from the lawmakers to the CEOs to the organizational brass to the small-business owners. It’s a natural by-product of the world’s reboot. We’re recalibrating the standards we live by.
No one can be sure what the next turn of events will be, but we’re seeing a mass rethinking of the way we problem-solve. After all, there’s no playbook for large-scale bank failures and global financial meltdown. There’s no precedent for the carmakers going bankrupt. There’s no “Fire-Fighting 101” class for CEOs of major companies saddled with the consequences of ill-judged decisions. Even former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan pretty much conceded that he got key policies wrong.
Leaders can’t dare claim true certainty about their actions. At the same time, it’s those people in top-tier positions who must make a move, because quick, determined action is vital. There’s no time to languish. So how to solve the catch-22-to be unsure and decisive at the same time?
Thus far, decision makers have been canvassing high-quality opinions and working with a “best guess, let’s try it” basis, which is pretty refreshing to see after years of closed-door policy and ambiguity of public information. Citizens of today’s world are savvier than ever and increasingly demanding of transparency. They’ll be supportive of clearly articulated decisions guided by sound strategic principles that take the big picture into account: not just the present.
It’s crucial to keep the media in the loop. When presented with nothing to go on, blogs (and let’s face it, some news outlets) will fill empty space with speculation, bits and pieces of leaked information, pre-emptive analysis and punditry. All of which spreads far and fast online, feeding the problem and creating a feedback loop that amplifies it. In the past, there was a lot more time to ponder options and keep deliberations under wraps-both in politics and business. No longer.
In this environment of instant information and rapid reactions, speed is an essential element of strategy. In this turbulent marketplace, if you’re doing the right thing for the right reason but you’re doing it slowly, that’s just as bad as doing it wrong.
There’s no such thing as a sure thing anymore, but remember this: Strategy + Transparency + Speed = A Step Forward.