Glenn Elliott - Decision Making

Is your decision making going round in circles?

It’s the basis of many a horror movie thriller – a lost group of teenagers staggering around a creepy forest late at night, only to end up back where they started. However, walking in circles is no urban myth.

In 2009 a study by Jan Souman found that when asked to walk in a straight line, without any visual clues on the horizon, the human body walks in big looping circles. Scientists are not sure on why this happens though it is thought to have something to do with the vestibular system, located in the inner ear, which guides our balance.

This phenomenon is a good metaphor for what is currently happening in businesses the world over.

We’ve all sat in meetings where the conversation gets stuck on an item in the agenda. Normally it’s one of the first items on the list, one that was meant to be a quick decision but turned into a long, repetitive debate.

People are wasting valuable time on decisions, that when reflected upon, were in fact insignificant to the business. And it’s vital for business owners to ensure that decisions that have little impact on the company or customers do not waste valuable employee time and resources.

All small organisations start out lean and fit. They make decisions fast, and they generally make good decisions because the people with the power are close to the coalface. They have the facts firsthand and they act quickly. 

As organisations grow they inevitably need to delegate power and responsibility to groups, committees and structures. Levels of hierarchy start and people end up with narrower responsibilities. Some of this is an essential part of growing. Devolved power and team working are good things, great things even. Without them your business can’t grow and it won’t sustain a bigger market share.

But as you grow you’ll find that decisions take too long are made poorly by people who are too far away from the facts. You’ll find staff getting disengaged as they are frustrated by what they see as pointless bureaucracy. And some of your best people will go round and round in circles trying to make decisions on things that don’t really matter.

We’re often so caught up in the minor cogs of business functionality that what may seem like a really vital decision to us is of zero importance to the customer.

Don’t lose focus. Keep things simple. Take those few crucial minutes to see the bigger picture each day to keep your business from going round in circles.


Written by Glenn Elliott, CEO and founder of Asperity Employee Benefits.

Asperity provides the market leading employee benefit programme Reward Gateway to 800+ clients globally servicing over 2 million employees. Asperity’s clients include McDonald’s, IBM, Cancer Research UK and many more.

With over 800 domain names registered with Fasthosts, Asperity makes full use of the bulk domain management features, as well as web hosting and DNS services. By making full use of Fasthosts hosting services, Asperity has seen greater employee engagement from their unique client websites, which has led to almost 100% client retention.

“We chose Fasthosts because of their consistent reliable service, and their flexibility in scaling to match our increasing needs as a fast-growing business.” Glenn Elliott

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