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Is doing nothing a decision?

I have already explained that no-decision managers do nothing when faced with a decision. Many people believe that doing nothing is a decision in itself and others believe that doing nothing is wrong. This is based on the famous quote, see the article ‘Their impact on organisations’:

“In any moment of decision the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing and the worst thing you can do is nothing.”

When a manager, once in a while, ignores a decision and does nothing, this is a conscious act and can clearly be classified as a decision. However, when a manger never decides anything, this is not a decision, but a way of life. It is the fundamental tactic used by no-decision managers to avoid decision-making. In fact it is one of two tactics that every no-decision manager, without fail, uses. I call it ‘permanent procrastination’.

Other managers also use this tactic often when faced with an important decision which they find difficult. Procrastinating managers use it frequently. Some managers are slow in decision-making and if they do not tell their subordinates they will be accused of using ‘doing nothing’ to get out of the decision whereas they are just slow.  Only no-decision managers use it permanently and never make the decision, other managers will decide eventually.

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