Episode #3: Weave’s BGS Webinar Series

Way back in 2020, Weave hosted its annual BGS on how to grow your business, communicate with customers, and retain clients. Little did we know how dramatically markets would change within that same calendar year, putting many of the principles we discussed during the summit to the test.

Last year’s BGS had thousands of registrants, over 10 hours of high-level content, and more than 15 speakers from across the business world. This year’s event promises to be even bigger.

As part of our preparation for this year’s first BGS, we want to share some of the classic talks that were delivered in 2020. The video below features Dave Taylor,¹ who’s been a successful CMO at Impartner Software, Stella Connect, and now Experience.com.²

🎧 Webinar with CMO Dave Taylor | Decision Making 👇

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Dave’s presentation focuses on helping business owners find a way to get past the obstacles standing in their way. “You can do it,” Dave insists. “Regardless of how large and daunting a task may be, you can always execute your way through it.”

But how?

1.Take the first blind step

Dave Taylor tells business owners to “make the decision to make a decision.” Because of the high-stress nature of their jobs, owners often suffer from analysis paralysis. However, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a decision to move.

blind step

Dave shares the story of his experience as a product marketing manager. There was a race in a marketing category to launch a new product. Almost every company in the market had shared research and analytics, putting them on equal footing to start.

At some point, Dave made the decision to launch first and to launch fast. This strategy proved to be a successful one. “You rarely have all the info,” Dave says.

That doesn’t mean you should shoot from the hip. Each business owner has to make an individual decision to move forward. Just remember, it’s impossible to have all the information before taking that first step.

2.Implement your plan

There’s no room for half-heartedness when you’re trying to implement your business plan. You have to go all-in, says Dave. It’s easy to self-sabotage early on, and that’s why you have to stick to your guns in the initial launch of your plan.

Dave references the leap of faith taken by Indiana Jones in The Last Crusade. He makes an analogy between Dr. Jones stepping off a ledge into the abyss and the beginning phases of any business project. To find the secret foot bridge in front of you, you have to take that first blind step.

In some situations, Dave will do a simple coin toss to help push him toward a decision. Once he flips a coin, however, he doesn’t just stick with the resulting heads or tails. He does a “gut check” to see if the result of the coin toss actually feels like the right decision. If it seems off, he adjusts his plan accordingly.

3.Refine and iterate

“Any result is meaningful,” says Dave Taylor. Of course, results won’t always be exactly what you’re looking or hoping for. By continually gathering and responding to results, however, your plan can develop, take new shapes, and become the optimized version of itself that you initially set out to create.

According to Dave, iteration unlocks willingness. As different manifestations of your business plan unfold, you and your team will understand the various nuances and challenges involved with implementing it. This process is difficult, yet rewarding.

Refinement is surprising. That’s why it’s crucial that you take that first leap of faith. As you go through the inevitable cycles and versions of your plan, you may need to occasionally step back and think about the next iteration. Don’t be afraid to circle back to an idea the next week, giving yourself the space to make necessary adjustments.

What causes indecision?

There are a few notable reasons for indecision in the business world. The first, Dave mentions, is imposter syndrome. People feel like they don’t deserve to be making high-level decisions, or that they’re the wrong person for the job.

The second is decision fatigue. Although we all make thousands of choices in a given day, there’s something about consistently making executive decisions that grates on even the most able leaders. When you’re experiencing this type of burnout, don’t be afraid to take an ample break and come back to the decision with a fresh perspective.

nervous-woman-holding-cellphone-PUUT5MF

Sometimes it’s not the amount of decisions, but the nature of decision-making itself that causes paralysis. The paradox of choice³ is that we have limitless possibilities, yet want to arrive at that one perfect option. In response to this conundrum, Dave Taylor quotes Theodore Roosevelt, who said, “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.”

How to problem solve

In order to solve problems and prioritize decision-making, Dave finds himself frequently referring to Stephen Covey’s four quadrants.4 This framework helps Dave prioritize his decisions by categorizing them. After going over the quadrants, he’s able to determine whether to manage, focus on, avoid, or limit the amount of time he’s spending on a particular choice or problem.

The four quadrants framework obviously isn’t the only tool available to business leaders. Dave considers Gokul Rajaram’s SPADE system,5 Jeff Bezos’s Regret Minimization Framework,6 and Warren Buffett’s circle of competence7 to be viable alternatives that might work better in certain situations.

risk problems

The main point is to practice making decisions, perhaps beginning with smaller ones and working toward more significant choices. You’ll make plenty of mistakes along the way. However, by simply taking that first step, implementing your plan, and refining your process with the help of successful frameworks, your journey of a thousand miles will be worth the trip.

If you haven’t done so already, sign up for Weave’s 2021 Business Growth Summit and get access to the rest of our business content library.

Notes:

  1. https://www.linkedin.com/in/davertaylor
  2. https://www.experience.com/
  3. https://www.inc.com/tanner-christensen/3-ways-to-overcome-the-paradox-of-choice.html
  4. https://succeedfeed.com/stephen-covey-4-quadrants-to-be-productive/
  5. https://review.firstround.com/square-defangs-difficult-decisions-with-this-system-heres-how
  6. https://www.inc.com/jessica-stillman/jeff-bezos-this-is-how-to-avoid-regret.html
  7. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circle_of_competence