Analysis Paralysis: Don't be a Deer in Headlights

               We all know the old expression about a deer freezing when it is caught in headlights. The deer finds itself in a dangerous, confusing situation, and instead of making any moves to protect itself, it simply stays put. This paralysis in the face of danger is often deadly—before states began outlawing the practice, many deer were felled by unsportsmanlike hunters flicking on their high beams.

Why doesn’t the deer do something? What on earth is it waiting for? Many title agencies should look to themselves for an answer to this question.

            The fact is that many title agencies are in the same position as that deer. They are faced with a tremendous new challenge—staying competitive in a swiftly changing industry, revolutionized by the consolidation of the financial services sector and the sudden improvement of tech infrastructure—and they find themselves paralyzed. They spend a lot of time thinking about how to improve their agency. But they don’t do a darn thing. And they are on the track to failure because of it.

            Title agencies suffer from what we like to call “analysis paralysis.” The prospect of change is too overwhelming and seems too risky. Changing long-held habits seems impossible. So instead of addressing their institutional limitations to move forward, they don't do anything at all. They fool themselves, thinking they are biding their time or waiting for some impossibly perfect opportunity to present itself. In other instances, agencies flood themselves with information about how to improve their business process but then never take the plunge because they are bogged down trying to find the chimerical risk-free process improvement methodology. Meanwhile, their competitors are moving forward, expanding, and improving their services.

            Luckily, there are easy methods an agency can take to prevent analysis paralysis and successfully implement process improvements.

            First, agencies should engage pertinent, digestible information about their industry and market. By staying grounded in practical information, they can make an informed decision about how to go about effecting improvements at their business, instead of drowning themselves in an endless flood of minutiae. Gaining a robust knowledge of the local and national market and of the associated risks and benefits of a change is indispensible. All agencies should know the benefits and challenges involved in expanding their footprint to new jurisdictions. Researching new technological opportunities and analyzing their potential benefits are important steps as well. But an agency should be sure not to let itself use research as a method of procrastinating much-needed enhancements to its business practices.

            Agencies should also look to thought leaders across the industry to see what the current trends are—what people are talking about, what works, and what doesn’t. Are all your competitors automating a certain step in their transactions? Are agents talking about a new software? What are people discussing on Linkedin groups? Take advantage of this information—there is no reason to reinvent the wheel. Scrupulously following trends and working to stay current are some of the best ways to spot new opportunities. Oftentimes the practical knowledge gained from these sources can be just the thing needed to jump-start a slow-moving process improvement.

            Mandrien provides products and services that can help agencies suffering from analysis paralysis. Our comprehensive title agent licensing manual includes relevant information about rules and regulations in all 51 jurisdictions and features helpful tips and tricks our consultants have picked up in the trenches. Mandrien also offers process optimization and Six Sigma consultation, thus providing a personalized step-by-step roadmap to enjoying the benefits of working at full efficiency.

            Don’t be a deer caught in the headlights! Analysis is a vital part of any process improvement, but a well-executed analysis is very different from using data-gathering as a way to avoid taking the risks necessary to stay competitive. Call Mandrien at 917 338-4222 for more information, or to schedule a free consultation.

2012-03-05 | Add a Comment
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