This week’s focus: In my experience, one of the biggest time-wasters in business meetings is where a decision on whether a new project should be pursued (a WHAT decision), becomes overtaken by a discussion on the various ways it could be pursued (a HOW decision).

Recently, for example, I was working with a retail executive team that was discussing whether they should enter a new product category, when the discussion was hijacked by a debate on whether the retailer could fit the new ranges in its existing stores. This new debate was a distraction. The company had many alternative ways to offer the products to customers – in-store, on-line, direct – and a decision on that issue was irrelevant until the team had decided whether or not they wanted to enter the new category in the first place.

First decide on your objectives, and only then determine the best route to achieve them. By splitting these two elements you will make better decisions, faster decisions and have a better chance of successful implementation.

Off the record: You Will, You Won’t by The Zutons

You will, you won’t

You do, you don’t

You’re saying you will

But you know you won’t

© Stuart Cross 2012. All rights reserved.