decision utility, impatience and velocity
“Impatience kills quickly.”
Katerina Stoykova Klemer
Velocity, at its core, is about decision utility, i.e., which decision will create the greatest return. I call it Return on Choice (ROC). In business you face a relentless onslaught of decisions to be made. Jackson & Jackson (How to Speak Human) suggest its over 30,000 decisions each day. Given the sheer quantity, success is often dictated by how well you choose what is important versus what is not as important versus what is not important at all.
Well. Let’s face it. No matter how good you are you will not always get this right.
Well. Let’s face it. We could all become more adept at making choices because, let’s face it, if anything, we seem to have become worse at making thoughtful choices.
There is a direct relationship between ROC and impatience: too impatient poorer ROC & just enough patience higher ROC.
Now. I am all for, and a huge proponent of not dicking around <the technical term for ‘wasting time overthinking’> when a choice needs to be made. But there is a difference between making speedy decisions and making a decision because speed is the main criteria. The latter encourages impatient decision making which lessens decision utility.
This happens for two reasons:
- Impatience exacerbates our typically poor prioritization skills
- Impatience emphasizes Personal bias
Since we live in a world of infinite possibilities, it’s incredibly hard to figure out what to do, when, and where.
If you start thinking this way, well, you begin living in a world strewn with hypotheticals.
If I do A, then this will happen. But what if I do B? Will it be better? Will I get back more? Will everyone around me be more satisfied? Or what about C? That looks good. Oh. But someone suggested D.
You get it. There are 26 letters in the alphabet and while most of us stop way before Z even getting to D can be maddening. It seems like the world is your oyster … everything is possible … but you don’t take advantage of any opportunities because you’re not sure of what’s best.
This is where I remind everyone what US President Dwight D. Eisenhower supposedly said: ‘The most urgent decisions are rarely the most important ones’.
Misreading the urgent from the non-urgent and the important from the unimportant may create impatience at the wrong time and waste energy & focus. Smart Business patience at its most simplest is grounded in the The Eisenhower Matrix. While Stephen Covey is often credited with the decision making matrix it was actually Dwight Eisenhower, considered a master of time management, who developed the matrix.
Decision utility is often driven by effective prioritization what to do do and what not to do.
“Mental clarity ain’t for the faint of heart.”–
Katerina Stoykova Klemer
Decision utility has to navigate the ‘personal bias’ maze.
It is natural we depend on defaults or ‘decision heuristics.’ They are times savers and actually assist ius in more efficiently navigating the 30,000+ decisions we have to make and getting shit done. But. When impatient we get, well, a little lazier. We lean in on our bias which is unfortunate because thinking takes hard work and every choice has opportunity costs. Unfortunately, most of us are not good at assessing ROC <return on choice> when viewing things thru a bias.
Especially when impatient people need to invest in working to eliminate bias.
Invest in developing the choices <and however many we need to feel like we have enough to assess assuming that is a finite number>.
Invest in actually assessing the choices <better, betterest & best assuming a best can be actually identified>.
Invest in the actual choice.
I imagine we are talking about the proper investment in time because organizational impatience leads to the permitting of poor choices <and a quicker death of a thousand cuts>. Maybe even more important is impatience without good investment equals ‘lost velocity.’ Or maybe even worse? Missed velocity.
Dealing with impatience and balancing impatience & patience ain’t for the faint of heart.
Managing decisions is all about a thorough understanding of the decision’s hierarchy of needs, navigating bias & understanding the attributes in a span of time that generates the most rewarding outcome. Being impatient doesn’t mean you ignore this thinking, but rather you incorporate it into your impatience <and it can dictate how patient you are in your impatience>.
I will suggest successful impatient decision making is about having, well, a rigid policy of flexibility.
Ok. Translation. Effective impatient patience is all about mental clarity – creating mental space to see things, feel things, absorb things and make those things into a decision or choice.
When you are facing a choice, making that decision <yes or no, do it or don’t do it>, you go through a cost-benefit check that may last anywhere from a split second to days, weeks, or even months <and yes even months can be an impatient patient choice>.
Such choices come up many times a day and time is a factor in virtually all of them.
It is a constant stream of choices. And each choice can mean the difference between speed & velocity.
It is easy to see how impatience can be abused if we regard life in today’s world as an almost unbroken fast moving river of choices/decisions of which they only represent different paths versus crossroads.
It is easy to see how with everything moving so fast all the time you can actually feel like you are speeding along even without making any good ROC choices. But 99 times out of a 100 there is little velocity, just movement.
Velocity is 2 dimensional in what you leverage from and then the choices you make to create a higher decision utility (ROC: Return on Choice). We believe having a distinct vivid brand, and bold brand message, insures your highest ROC .