Wait Less, Sense More, Act Fast!

Posted: 2017-09-11

Author: Admin

“If I had more legs, I could walk faster. If I had more hands, I could handle more, and if I had extra senses, I could respond wiser” – did you ever wish that? I did and perhaps so do all business executives with a lot on their plate and required to make quick decisions day in day out. “The first step toward success is taken when you refuse to be a captive of the environment in which you first find yourself.”

We all want to excel regardless of the quirks of our environment. We make decisions merely to survive at times but at other times, our decisions are inspired by the desire to belong, win, and to exceed expectations in our roles and responsibilities.

In order to flourish in any given environment one must possess a certain level of flexibility, gumption, and a drive to always improve. And most importantly, all that excel often have one thing in common – time sensitivity. Better and faster is equivalent with having the right approach at the right time. That will win the game. Time sensitive opportunities enhance the probability for success! If opportunities are not sensed in time and acted upon, their value depreciates rather quickly. No one wants to be caught by surprise and be left behind.

The same concept permeates in many aspects of our society and life. It can be obvious in the tenacity of the politician to maintain a sense of voter’s mood and project a suitable image to increase vote shares. Likewise, in the entertainment industry, producers and distribution platforms such Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and others release content that often reflects events relevant to the times, aligned to topical sentiments of the viewing public. This can be seen in programs such as Barry, Madame Secretary, Being Mary Jane, Before the Flood perhaps, to name a few. On a personal level, you likely felt the sting of regret from not taking the opportunity to stand up for something you believed in. Or even on a lighter note when you simply said or didn’t say what may have caused an impact on a relationship!

So, what factors influence catching an opportunity in time and make best decisions? First step is to understand what works or doesn’t work in your current context:

  • Identify what has consistently worked?
  • Identify what has repeatedly failed to work?
  • Identify adjustments to be made for improving the current state?

In today’s enterprise Data is king. For example retailer won’t want to miss on capturing customer’s demographics and analyzetransactional data in real time to match with timely promotions.

In an enterprise decision-making setting, often poor decisions are made and opportunities are missed – what has repeatedly failed to work – for following reasons:

  • Lack of relevant information
  • Poor information quality
  • Inability to process data in time to gain insights
  • Cognitive overload on decision makers thus lack of direction
  • Lack of trust in data, data governance, data alignment
  • Absence of cutting edge technologies or platforms
  • Process and/or cultural reasons

On close introspection, one may also become aware of the inherent limitations in the company culture stifling progress; a dominant risk averse mindset and comfort with the status quo – “why fix it if it is not broken”, or lack of clear ownership.

On the flip-side you may have identified that which has been repeatedly working for you has been perhaps investing time in evaluating your environment and observing your customers reaction to your product offering.

Now… what can be done to bridge what you have and what you don’t into what is possible, and thus what needs to be put in place in order to accomplish that which you are or should be after?

Modern technology and recent advancements in Big Data and AI address many of the issues you may be encountering, especially those pertaining to relevance and timeliness of data. It can enhance your senses to spot opportunities on time and may recommend best business decisions so you can act fast, ahead of your competitors.

About the author:

Dr. Rana is founding CTO at diwo. With more than 35 years of experience as serial entrepreneur and executive leadership, he was also the CTO of CommerceOne, and a core team member for developing strategy and launching distributed systems management initiatives at IBM.