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I’ve Got People

Strategically Speaking
May 14, 2014

Author: Tammy Wilson,

My role as a Product Manager includes industry analysis and constantly considering what is next, but when I stop momentarily to look back, I am amazed.  Amazed at just how much and how quickly things are progressing and adapting.  The internet and its byproducts have transformed our world in just a few short years, and there is no sign of slowing down.  With endless information at our fingertips, we can buy virtually anything, research everything, and interact with anyone - all from anywhere.  While that sounds so liberating, an argument can be made that this ability creates a paradox.  This seemingly wonderful, limitless marketplace and society that provides us with endless options and boundless opportunity results in something called analysis paralysis.  There is just too much.  At what point do we stop considering the right mix of options?  What is the perfect thing?  When do we know enough to make the best decision?  As an example, I am going through this at the moment as I upgrade an older security system in my home.  The owner of a local security company came to visit; and when he understood that I was technical enough to have some fairly specific requests, he provided some suggestions for me to consider.  The next thing I know, I have spent hours Googling and am no less settled on a decision than I was when he left.  He didn’t intend for me to be frustrated.  He wanted to make sure that I felt I was selecting the best option for me.  But, I was overwhelmed with the information, the options, and the burden of the choice.  And I knew that whatever I chose, I would have some level of remorse because it wasn’t perfect.

At some point, you must decide what is meaningful and ignore the rest.  What services are the most important to you and to your customers, and what really doesn’t matter?  Do you need all three hundred and seventy-two options?  Maybe yes, but maybe no.  What value do you put on relationships, integrity, and partnership?  I ended up calling the security company owner and said “As long as you tell me this system can do X and Y and have options for Z in the future, I’m going to trust you to do what is best and leave this in your hands.”  I hung up, and my mind was free of the decision.  Now, I won’t pretend that at some point I may not say “I wish this thing did A and B.”  But, I had other things that I needed to move on to; and I recognized that if I waited to act until I thought that I had my wish list defined completely, the upgrade would never happen.  The downfall to the complete paralysis that results is no forward movement.  In a business case, you quickly get bypassed, left behind, and become irrelevant.

With all that is going on in many industries, but particularly financial services, I think that analysis paralysis is a real factor.  What is brewing for some new regulation to come along that will completely turn us all on our heads (again)?  What non-bank entity is plotting to step into our space and gobble up our customers?  What transforming technology might shift everything and eliminate a revenue stream we rely on today?  While none of us have a crystal ball, a trusted partner with resources dedicated to making sense of it all is the most valuable thing that you can have.  While you spend your time tending to the needs of your customers, a skilled group of industry experts are looking out for you, your future, and your customers.  It’s the epitome of “I’ve got people.”  Your people have your back, and I would argue that having the utmost faith in your people to sift through the never-ending stream of information to help you decipher the things that matter IS the most important thing. Partners

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