Leadership Nudge® 308 – Give Your Decisions Expiration Dates

April 8, 2020by Sandy Wilmer4

It’s useful to put an expiration date on your decisions. When you change your process, establish a date to reevaluate the process maybe once a quarter, maybe once a year. But when things are so dynamic, like during this pandemic, shorten the expiration date. You may want to reevaluate your decisions every week or even every few days.

Hey guys, I want to talk about the idea of expiration dates. Now I’m here in front of the refrigerator and open it up, and I pull out some cheese. And the cheese has an expiration date on it, which in this case is September of 2020, which is a long time with the assumption that the cheese is going to stay inside the refrigerator. And I think it’s useful to think of expiration dates for every decision that you make. You change your process, you put an expiration date on it, and that’s the point at which you’re going to reevaluate the process. You launch your product, you put an expiration date on it.  You changed your advertising campaign, you put an expiration date on it.  These are the times when you’re going to go back and reevaluate the process and you’re going to do a period of blue thinking work. Now here’s the thing, when times are more dynamic, chaotic, like right now with the Coronavirus, you got to shrink up those expiration dates. So if your business was operating on a cycle where maybe once every quarter we’d look at things, you got to shrink that down to maybe once a month.  If it was was once a month per process, shrink it down.  Maybe it’s once every two weeks or once every week, but you got to shrink down those expiration dates.  It’s going to feel a little frustrating because you’ll want to say, “okay, we made a decision, now, let’s just do it.” But when things are so dynamic, we don’t know what’s going to  happen next week or the week after next, you want to shrink up those expiration dates. 

I’m David Marquet, that’s your Leadership Nudge. 

Sandy Wilmer


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