The past ten months or so have seen many of us put under the pressure of making a quick decision in the name of “urgency.” And we will likely see more of these times ahead as the pandemic is unrelenting.
Here are some things that we can do to make the best decisions possible in these situations.
1. Is this really important? Dr. Steven Covey counsels us to pay more attention to things that are important, rather than urgent. Don’t just jump at a problem because someone else says it is urgent. Evaluate its importance first.
2. Don’t accept quick explanations of the problem. Nietzsche famously said that “any explanation is better than none.” Most problems are complex and while we may not like it, they take time to figure out.
3. Buy more time. Deadlines can often be moved back. Make sure that someone has not self-imposed one that is really not that important.
4. Consider long term implications. Check out this resource from Joel Barker, called The Implications Wheel, which has us think of the first order, second order, etc. implications of a course of action we are about to take.
5. Purposely seek out people you suspect may have different views than the group that is currently working with you on the problem. It may take time and you may not immediately like the insight they give you. But it could be very helpful longer term.
We are all trying to stay nimble and pivot (my nominee for 2020 word of the year). Addressing “urgent” issues that come our way is a key skill in navigating these challenging times and maximizing our Mission Impact.