In a recent Harvard Business Review post by Nick Tasler 3 Myths That Kill Strategic Planning, he shares that the most “precious ability” a great leader has is his or her ability to make decisions based on strategic thinking. He uses a Napoleon quote to make his point:
“Nothing is more difficult, and therefore more precious, than to be able to decide.”
It may seem like common sense but decisions go hand in hand with knowledge and as the old saying goes “knowledge is power”. However, leaders should ask themselves – “Do I feel comfortable enough to solely make decisions?”
The goal of get things done well, deciding where to focus, and ultimately having an actionable decision could also be the chapters seen in a risk management 101 course. The reality is, senior management typically wear multiple hats and suffer from resource constraints when it comes to risk management. So the question again is – “do you feel comfortable with the go-at-it alone approach?” As Nick stated in his blog “strategic thinking is about deciding on which opportunities to focus your time, people, and money.”
Fortune 500 companies utilize the knowledge of an in-house risk manager to assist with strategic thinking and in the past many middle market firms assumed an adviser was unnecessary given the presence of a broker. While a broker offers a certain level of knowledge, an outsourced adviser’s knowledge does not come with the sale of a product and the broker relationship is maintained like it does with Fortune 500 firms. Times have changed and in the absence of a full-time in-house risk manager, many middle markets firms have realized the need of an outsourced adviser. It is becoming an industry standard and the companies are realizing both the short and long-term benefits.
While Nick clarified the 3 myths that kill strategic planning; the shortage of knowledge can also be a killer.