Friday, September 21, 2007

Management Advice: The Third Option

The three main option come from the stock market. The stock market is a place where you have to think fast and a mistake can cost fortunes. Analysts feed the stock market with advices about individual titles. Any such an advice comes with a main action, this is either to Sell, to Buy or to hold. There are nuances between them and some analysts use a different terminology (this stock will outperform the market) but BUY, HOLD and SELL are the main choices.

The stock market is a very transparent market where an individual action is easily traced and benchmarked. This is completely unlike organization markets, where the initiation of a project, the purchase of a products or a new business development can not really be compared with another scenario.

Yet the choices for the advisor are the same: BUY, HOLD or SELL.

What also is the same is that most management consultants and advisors on one hand and market analysts on the other all share one feature: they are unbalanced in their overall advices; in the aggregation of financial market advices, BUY outweighs HOLD and SELL. Banks are reluctant to give a sell advice. For many obvious reasons.

In the same line of reasoning, the BUY recommendations of the consultant will outnumber the SELL or at least the HOLD advice; there is no gain for the consultant, even if the best option for an organization is to keep the status quo.

The similarities between both worlds do not match exactly. The Sell advice for example, would mean to get rid of a product, an application, a method an employee or even a department (within an organization) but this requires something more than merely one action.

But the idea is the same and with this information you know that most people will recommend you to action (of with the BUY is most abundant, followed by the SELL) because there is a transaction involved. But before you engage yourself with either options, you should try to convinced yourself and the organization, that there is maybe a third option. Hold on.

2006 Hans Bool

Hans Bool is the founder of Astor White a traditional management consulting company that offers online management tools. Have a look at some of our free management tools