A treatment plan for non-decision-making

March 10, 2023 | 5 Min read
Persistent non-decision making is an insidious business disease that spreads vicariously if not detected or treated. It's a common but often undetected problem with businesses that are struggling, writes Kate Burke.

Persistent non-decision making is an insidious business disease that spreads vicariously if not detected or treated. It's a common but often undetected problem with businesses that are struggling, writes Kate Burke*.

Non-decision-making occupies mind space, damages relationships and business performance. If non-decision making is left untreated, it’s unlikely that the business will reach its full potential and it can even be terminal.

Non-decision making is identifiable and treatable. Moving from agony to action alleviates procrastination and enables a business and its people to thrive.

The ‘Awareness Acceptance Agreeance Action Framework’ developed by Think Agri is a great treatment plan that integrates the people, productivity and profit aspects of agribusiness decision making.

The process works because it improves awareness of what's really going on, it provides a process to manage the dynamics of the decision maker and focuses on getting to the desired outcome (Table 1).


The 4A Treatment plan for non-decision making.

Consider the challenge of revising the product forecasting strategy for an ag retailer in light of recent challenges in over- and under-forecasting for flagship products.

Awareness is created through an analysis of major product supply and demand and the relationship with seasonal conditions provides a starting point. You might spot which suppliers run short in certain years. You also notice the trends in profit contribution of key products.

Acceptance is the next step. The analysis revealed the high margin products contributed far less to profit than presumed. Lower margin, high volume products drove that profit.

In the past the high margin products were given priority for forecasting, and lower margin products less so. With new knowledge, you identify profits are being missed due to the late forecasting of the lower margin, high volume products. This might be a difficult paradigm to accept if it is assumed that higher margins drive profit.

Assuming acceptance is achieved, key players need to reach agreement on the path forward. This can be tricky and can take time. Both agreement and acceptance require an open mindset.

The final step is action. Firstly, progressing through the AAAA treatment plan and then executing the plan once a decision is reached.

In highly functioning businesses this process occurs either consciously or subconsciously. If non-decision-making is entrenched in a business, then getting some assistance to diagnose and treat the problem could save the life of the business and make the lives of those working in and on the business far more enjoyable.

*Dr Kate Burke – author of ‘Crops People Money and You, The Art of Excellent Farming and Better Returns’ – is an ag scientist, agri strategist, educator and speaker. Her book outlines a road map for sustainable profit taking and legacy making with less stress. Visit www.thinkagri.com.au

Categories Management

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