Analysis Paralysis

Analysis Paralysis

There’s covering all your bases. Considering all the options. Letting every voice be heard.

And then – there’s the death of a thousand cuts of having a project “glued in place” by Analysis Paralysis: over-analyzing (or over-thinking) a situation so that a decision or action is never taken, in effect, paralyzing the outcome.

If you’re an “Ol’ skooler”, you may have heard the same thing described as “death by committee.”

Good, effective governance is hard. What makes it hard is that when more than a handful of voices are involved in a design of any size, timeliness and opportunity can quickly be lost, in the fight for the inconsequential.

So – how does one avoid “analysis paralysis?”

Start by having only those involved with an actual stake in the governance process. If they aren’t a stakeholder, they’re off the team.

Secondly, before planning or deliberations begin, everyone will be aware of what has to be accomplished, with a “look of success” defined for what a successful, and complete, outcome will be.

And finally, you have to involve participants in your process who are actively engaged and working in good faith to move the project forward.

Sometimes, you don’t get to choose who is on the team. Or, you have to work with members who are actively throwing roadblocks in the way of progress quite intentionally.

The only real curative is to hold those team members publicly accountable, and challenge them, directly or indirectly. Otherwise, they will leach away every bit of momentum – or worse, opportunity – you need to succeed.

Go, and be you.


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