In days of yore the main problem facing leaders and managers when doing their planning was normally a shortage of accurate information which they could use when making decisions.

Today, the World has changed. If I am not certain of a fact, or am looking for information on any aspect of life I simply refer to Wikipedia or an equivalent publication. Within minutes I have an answer to my query.

Each and every profession or business has immediate access, most of it free, to information relating to their industry. This applies to technical, financial or general information. An example relating to recruitment may illustrate what I am getting at:

When a person applies for a job or position the first step that any recruiter will take is to examine their social media particularly their Facebook and Linked In pages. In most cases, social media becomes the platform we use to advertise ourselves. The number of instances where we embarrass ourselves is becoming legend.

This access to information is dangerous to planners. The sheer volume of information available can:

  • Confuse the planner trying to resolve a challenge;
  • Camouflage both the challenge and options to resolve it;
  • Lead to planners either making poor selections or avoiding making decisions; and
  • Restricting planners from calling on their intuition, an essential part of planning.

How can we avoid this stressful situation. I feel that taking some simple steps can assist in the process:

  • When you are presented with a challenge, read as widely as time allows. The object here is gain the most clear and comprehensive understanding of the possible ways of addressing the challenge;
  • Discussing the challenge with those you trust. This means you share the challenge and gain information from a range of viewpoints;
  • Give yourself time for both your experience and intuition to work. Refer, in this regard, to the book “Blink” by Malcolm Gladwell, a most useful reference source; and
  • Sleep on the information you have stored and only make your decision the following morning.

I often find myself confused and unsure when facing a challenge. As the confusion grows so does the stress. This situation tends to force me into making a decision which too often is flawed and just leads to further confusion.  By deciding to do nothing I often find my mind clears and the solution becomes obvious. Let your subconscious (intuition) show you the way.

Have fun and live life to the full, this is our time to enjoy.