There’s an old saying in investing about taking care of the losers and letting the winners take care of themselves. Irrationally, most investors do just the opposite and let the losers drag their portfolios down.
It must be human nature, forsaking the probable for the possible. It seems very difficult to forgo an intriguing opportunity or give up on a failing effort. After all, what if it turns around? What if it’s the next big thing?
Organizations are not immune to this tendency. They’re filled with underperforming efforts that heavily tax resources, yet somehow manage to endure. The what-if fallacy is endemic.
This is why organizations must adhere to an effective, omnipresent strategy. It’s the only way to know how best to allocate resources. To know when to say no.
Saying no preserves resources for innovation, opportunity, and growth. At the very least, for reinforcing successful efforts. Saying no emboldens and empowers.
In any organization, rewards flow to those who say yes. But, success flows to those who know when to say no, and have the courage to say it.