Unless you are standing across from Mark Cuban and Lori Greiner with a chance to make the deal of a lifetime in ABC's Shark Tank, there is never a good reason to rush into things. In fact, taking your time to make a decision might even make you a better strategist. At least, that's what Mark Chussil, founder and CEO of Advanced Competitive Strategies discovered in a recent experiment.

Chussil argues that there is no clear-cut approach to making a decision. Both veterans with industry expertise and outsiders with new ideas could be classified as good decision-makers at one point or another. And a background in business and strategy might come in handy, but it hardly guarantees you will become a good decision-maker because of it.

Instead what Chussil found in his research, is that overconfidence is the best way to ruin your chances for making a good decision. "When you think you know the answer, you sincerely believe it's a waste of time to keep looking for it," he wrote in a recent Harvard Business Review article.

In presenting problem to an array of executives, students and professors, and forcing those said groups to make a conclusion, those who simply said they didn't know enough to make a decision were more likely to have positive outcomes. Those who confidently said "I already know" or "now I know" when presented with the problem were less successful.

The best performing group--the group that selected the best strategies--was made up of typically younger and predominantly female members. Rather than resort to snap judgments like their counterparts, the "I don't know" group took their time and were a little unsure about their thoughtful decisions.

So what is the underlying lesson?

When it comes to devising a competitive-strategy, take your time. Consider different scenarios and be open to the idea that you might not hold all the answers. And that's okay. 

Published on: Jul 11, 2016