Avoiding the ‘decision spin cycle’

Each organization has their own method of making a big decision. Some are able to recognize a good idea and quickly act, while others enter into what is known as the "decision spin cycle." 

Even if you are unfamiliar with the term, you might be able to recognize the process. The idea is translated into a presentation, offered to management, then executives, then reviewed and discussed, details are added and the process restarts. The Harvard Business Review recently spoke to Ron Ashkenas about how companies get caught in this cycle.

"Decisions bounce around the company, from group to group, up and down the hierarchy and across the matrix, their details and consequences changing as different stakeholders weigh in. Often, the underlying problem isn't an inability to make decisions–it's a tendency to avoid conflict," Ashkenas writes.

It is human nature to want to avoid conflict. However, when this desire to keep everyone happy begins to interfere with processes at an organization, it could be time for a review of policy or to bring in outside help. The decision spin cycle is not only frustrating for those pushing for progress, it can be a significant financial drain. 

Breaking this habit can be difficult, especially when it has become entrenched in the company culture. If the spin cycle has begun to sap the competitiveness from your organization, bringing in an outsider can be helpful. Contracting the services of an expert consultant can present new opportunities to move forward without being bogged down by internal politics.

At Xbig6, our consultants have an average of two decades of professional experience in management consulting, technology consulting, program management, and organizational change management with a price point of half the cost of many larger firms.