Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Here Comes Santa Claus...

It happened again yesterday.

On the phone with a prospect yesterday working towards a solution, everything is going well, we're open with each other, we're sharing, he likes us, we like him, "when are you ready to make a decision on this?" we ask using our newfound position as "trusted business advisor".

"Well...December is a busy month," says the prospect.

I've been thinking a lot about this...this....phenomenon of American business. I assume that businesses in other countries do not suffer from this malaise that sets upon us somewhere around the Monday before Thanksgiving and doesn't lift until sometime in late January.

Why is December a busy month? Is it any busier than any other month? Why not March? March has the onset of Spring, St. Patrick's Day, and the Easter holidays.

Budget is a possible explanation. People have either exhausted their budget for the calendar year, they are building their budgets for the next year or a combination of both. I don't believe it is as simple as a money issue.

Vacations are another possible explanation. But research is stating we don't take enough vacation. And I estimate that everyone who takes vacation is going to take it at roughly the same time. I'll grant you 7 days +/- a day or two for those 3 people out there that take their entire two weeks at the end of the year.

No, my friends, budget time and vacation days are not the root. They are excuses. This is a leadership problem. This is a decision-making problem. Decisions are made by committee. I think we need a Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom (yes, I know I am dating myself) to send Marlin and Jim Fowler out into the corporate wilds. Marlin can sit safely in the Land Rover while Jim wrestles gatekeepers to find the elusive person with single decision making authority!

Is anyone else familiar with this phenomenon? Discuss!

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YardBoy said...

"...Decisions are made by committee...elusive person with single decision making authority"

Which is it?

mike said...

Welcome YB! I trying to indicate that committees are evil. No one wants to be the middle manager that sticks their neck out to make a decision.