No Decision is a Decision
Business & Leadership Behaviors Project Management Thoughts

No Decision is Still a Decision

It feels like there is more uncertainty these days than usual. While some surprises can be fun and exciting – the unknown about what may happen with the economy, employment, the elections, world events, heck – even the weather – is enough to rattle even the most steadfast teams.

It can be tempting to take on that “let’s wait and see what happens” approach to things.

That may seem like you’re holding off on making decisions. But really, Doing Nothing is a decision.

It took me a long time to really digest that notion.

Doing Nothing means that I’m living with the status quo.

It means that I’m increasing my sunk costs in whatever it is that I’m doing now. It also means that I’m incurring opportunity costs by delaying or missing out on what could be.

Risk in Change

But making changes can be scary – especially when you feel like there is so much uncertainty. There is risk.

“What if I’m wrong?” “What if things change in my favor?”  “What if _________?”

Let’s face it – as humans, we’re naturally risk averse.

But systems and processes that may have worked five, ten – or even just two years ago – likely don’t fit where we all are today. And they cost more to maintain.

Ask anyone with an aging car.

Still a Need

If you’re thinking about making changes – you’ve already identified issues on some level. While it may be tempting to give into those fears and delay dealing with a situation, it also means that you will continue to endure the consequences – and likely miss out on something better.

There is a lot of satisfaction to be had from moving forward and addressing challenges.  Even incremental changes can have a positive impact, and typically provide some insight and momentum to keep going.

Consider all of the Costs

In our world of asset management, delaying making changes to outdated processes and systems has cost customers in various ways:

Time – time executing manual inventories, time correcting bad data, time just trying to find what they have and where they have it

Money – money spent on spares, so they know that they have what they need when they need it, or on insurance or storage for things that aren’t needed anymore

Inaccuracy – inaccurate asset data can lead to bloated budgets due to “estimated” needs, or operational plans aren’t as effective if the data surrounding tools isn’t reliable

That’s just what they’re incurring.  This doesn’t take into account the upside they are missing out on when they stay put.


Mitigating risk isn’t a bad thing – but doing nothing simply because of the presence of risk more than likely is.

So when you identify a situation, make sure you look at it from all angles and consider all costs.  Remember that doing nothing is not delaying a decision – it is a decision.

And if you’re considering making changes surrounding your assets, contact us.  We’ve successfully walked many organizations through this process, and we can help yours too.