Decision Gridlock

Everyone has found themselves sitting in traffic gridlock, but that is more frustration than a serious issue. However, when a business experiences gridlock it can be very serious and often very costly.

Typical Business Gridlocks

A previous post called Business Bottlenecks was a discussion of how business can be slowed or even brought to a standstill if a bottleneck is encountered. A typical example would be in manufacturing where one stage is unable to process items at a rate sufficient to keep production flowing smoothly and uninterrupted. That same thing can happen in office duties as well. While this could also be a form of gridlock, often gridlock involves decisions. A classic example is seen in the U.S. Congress where nothing happens because there is no general agreement.  Thus, no decisions are made to move things forward.

Company Decision Gridlock

A serious issue occurs when the decision process comes to a grinding halt, thus creating a business gridlock. Often this can be the result of one or two people who either are uncomfortable making a required decision or insist on additional information before doing so. In the meantime, others are left waiting, much like the scene below where one person cannot make a decision and others are left waiting to do their part.

waiting for a decision

What Should be Done?

In a nutshell, those who are in a position to make a decision should often be willing to recognize that not all facts will be available and that no decision is a decision itself. This decision by default is often worse than actively making a decision that is not perfect. In fact, actively making the best decision possible with the known information is necessary to get things moving again. Very few decisions in business are final and can be altered as more information becomes available. Regardless, a decision is necessary to get people moving.

“Nothing happens until something moves.” – Albert Einstein

What about your company. Is there gridlock because someone cannot make a decision? Try to get employees comfortable with the idea that no decision is perfect and that a decision by default is probably far worse.

If you want to know more, contact AimCFO – Contact

As always, your comments are welcomed.


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