My wife Patty and I purchased a townhome back in 2009. It is in a beautiful area, walking distance to the types of things we like to do. Built in the 1970s, it was badly in need of major renovation. I saw the potential and after one visit was ready to put in an offer. Patty needed to go back a couple more times to look at the townhome, the property grounds, and the neighborhood. She needed more time to think through and absorb what we were considering before moving forward. We made an offer four days after seeing the townhome, when we were both comfortable with the purchase. Then we proceeded with gutting and remodeling, then moved in June 2011. We never regretted the decision.
Our home purchase example was the first time I consciously thought about how quickly I made decisions and moved forward with implementation relative to Patty’s more deliberate approach. At first, I was frustrated with our speed differences, wondering why she couldn’t move as fast as me. As we’ve continued to grow, I’ve learned to respect and appreciate her more thoughtful and deliberate pace as she raises issues that I might not consider. We now recognize each other’s processing speed, or what I call “think-do cycle,” and how our different styles yield a decision-making speed we’re both content with.
The think-do cycle applies to work teams as well. You may have some on your team who are ready to launch on a proposed solution when others need time to process. When differing think-do cycles aren’t acknowledged and embraced, work teams could get frustrated with moving either too fast or too slow. When differences are embraced, decisions and resulting action are made with better team buy-in. As the leader, your job is to balance team-buy-in with the timeliness that a decision must be made. It’s not easy to do; but it’s something that leaders continually need to balance to minimize execution friction.
Need better awareness of the think-do cycle and how to implement in your team? Give these five tips a look:
Be mindful about the think-do cycles of you and your team. You’ll better secure team buy-in on key decisions and reduce execution friction.
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