Unfortunately many companies fall on the extremes of the action pendulum: left, paralysis by indecisiveness or nauseatingly perfecting a plan, or right, acting haphazardly on every shiny blinky good idea that presents itself
Both of these are motivated by a fear of failure. Fear we won’t do it right or fear we’ll miss the next big opportunity.
And when it comes to having a successful company as well as a great company culture, you have to have balanced action. There is a time to brainstorm, throw out ideas, consider different options, plan and then there’s a time to act.
Employees like to be on teams in which their voice is heard, their contribution is valued and where there ideas, concerns and suggestions are taken into consideration.
However they also like to be on winning teams. And in order for an organization to have success, it must (thoughtfully) act, execute and implement on a focused plan. So set aside a specific timeframe to collaborate around the plan, but then stop. Stop puttering, considering, evaluating, perfecting and get ‘er done.
Balanced action requires a commitment to the plan once it’s selected. Everyone must be focused – which means both following through even if the plan isn’t perfect (which it will never be) and saying no to good ideas that would take you off track.
Now clearly there are moments once you have implemented a plan when it is obvious the plan is flawed. And in these moments, I would suggest we take a cue from the Japanese.
I recently had a friend tell me that in Japanese workplace culture, communication is much more efficient (and he would suggest effective) because only those who can directly impact the outcome are socially allowed to speak on the topic/issue/project. In essence, your opinion or feedback is considered only if you can do something about it. If the plan is flawed, and not irretrievably broken, you do not need to return to the first stage of collaboration. Simply gather those who can best resolve the flaw, brainstorm, adjust and move on.