I went to Staples last week to buy a pack of thank you cards. 20 cards cost $20, $1 per thank you? (My god…I don’t even like these people that much 🙂 ) .
The Wal-Mart across town sold them for less. So I went, bought a pack, saved $4, and felt like a hero.
Until I thought about it: What about the cost of the gas? What about the 45 minutes I lost?
When we have a decision to make, we account for the obvious costs (obviously), but forget about the hidden costs.
In organizations, in order to avoid a costly wrong decision, we call meetings, we gather data, we generate reports. But how costly is the deciding process itself?
How much time (yours and your colleagues) are you spending? How many resources are you using up? What momentum is being lost? What urgency is being squandered?
No one is asking you to make decisions blindly, without the appropriate evaluation first. That would be absurd.
All I’m saying is ruthlessly evaluate the evaluation. Ruthlessly.