“Try not to do too many things at once. Know what you want, the number one thing today and tomorrow. Persevere and get it done.”  –George Allen

In my work consulting with leadership teams in higher education over the last 30 years, it seems that one of the biggest challenges for leaders is to narrow down the myriad of good ideas that come out of a strategic planning session. It can be so tempting to bite off more than you can chew when setting strategy.

Leaders who attempt to accomplish more than is realistic with their existing workforce and resources, can become burned out from trying to accomplish it all.  I’ve also seen many employees become disheartened when plans don’t come to fruition because of overambitious planning.

So how can you avoid the tyranny of too many good ideas and focus on the best ones that will give you the greatest return on investment? To choose the best way forward, I’d recommend using some strategic evaluation methods to assist you in your decision making. Mindtools has some excellent resources, including information to help you conduct:

  • Risk Analysis
  • Impact Analysis
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Decision Matrix Analysis

For information, see: Mind Tools and scroll down the page to Stage 3: Evaluating and Selecting Strategic Options

Have you ever experienced the problems associated with too many good ideas? How did you handle it?

Anita Rios

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