Action Bias or "Do Something"

Back in the day, famed Broadway director Gower Champion was directing a musical. With time pressure mounting, he entered the theatre during a rehearsal and was alarmed to see the cast just standing around on stage. The choreographer was just sitting there, in the second row of the audience, his head in his hands.

The director asked, “What’s going on?”

“I just don’t know what to do next,” the choreographer lamented.

The director blinked. “Well, do something, so we can change it!”

I enjoyed this story from Do Something, So We Can Change It!, Allen Pike’s post about tackling ‘two-way’ decisions proactively. If a decision is reversible, it’s better to make your choice quickly, and refine from there. You can undo a mistake if needed, and if you are quicker to take action, you’ll receive feedback faster. Then you can tweak your approach based on how it performs in the real world, rather than ruminating about various options and their ever-branching outcomes.

As someone who is prone to analysis paralysis, I’m working to cultivate a bias to action. I‘ve chosen better defaults to help make simple decisions quicker, and I’m prioritising starting over theorising, shipping over finessing.