Inaction… A path less chosen

Posted: January 3, 2012 in Thoughts

Recently I came across an article by Patricia Cohen, It was titled “Inaction vs action” . Well from the upper side it sounded like a simple title with no inherent gossip content involved. Now, as simple as that sounds I’ve got to admit one of main reasons that I started to read along was to find what exactly was the competition between action and inaction anyway! Inaction simply means a state of being inactive and action – you know.
Being opposites by convention, they do attract a fancy “VS” between ‘em but pragmatically speaking inaction doesn’t stand a chance with action as a competitor. Especially when in a problamatic situation. Confused!
Well, lets take an example. The penalty kick in a game of soccer. There’s the striker and the goalie. Almost 90% of the goalie’s leap to the exact opposite direction to the striker’s attact eventually missing the chance. Now, thats action. The success rate of the striker is way higher than that of the goalie(for penalty kicks). What happens when the goalie stays in the centre and grabs the advantage of the 0.2-0.4 second of time taken by the ball to travel to him. I know thats humanly impossible to even think of taking a decision in the given modicum of time. But, But instead of jumping to the wrong direction and missing the goal he could as well take a try staying at the centre. Thats Inaction. ( okay folks, Chak de climax is not exactly what i’m talking about. We had the all powerful srk ‘coach sir’  standing just right beside the captain girl who again could catch his signals so correctly. wonder!  well its a movie, that too a srk one… :P )
Hard to comprehend, yeah. Well I’ve followed EPL and European soccer for a long time, still I might be wrong with the technical aspects of penalty kicks. But, think about it taking no action in a situation your iffy about is a much safer bet than doing something and making no worth of it.

I do agree the latter has the benefit of judgement cause they have obviously taken an “action” in a troubled situation aganist the ones who preferred to stay still. And a typical social mind would appreciate the lad for trying something even though it did no good to anyone. Consider a wider aspect of the such situations , Business. We’ve seen loads of analysts who involve in decision making taking a wrong turn and failing. Penalty kicks are part of the game, and there aren’t thousands of employees behind you depending on the decision. But, Money matters. Given a problem, a tricky one in business, What does a normal man do ? He takes a decision, he has to. He tries to get a solution that will firstly make him look a smarty because he’s got a plan unlike his quieter colleagues and secondly he always has an excuse for trying to attempt to solve the case .

Does it solve the issue or not is secondary, surprisingly ! So, assume the decision goes wrong. Its got to cost a lot of money and loss to the organisation but nobody complains about the guy. “He ATLEAST tried” is all what you’ll hear. But, the point is, the devastation could have been saved had he not chosen to take the sort of the decision where he is uncertain about the outcomes in the first place. People in core business and soccer players are those guys who really need to master the art of decision making. Also, Decision making has always been a popular lesson for budding professionals. But much less is talked about Inaction.Yes Action is what we need for growth, for success, for moving forward, all the inventions, all the progress we boast of today is here because of the ‘Decisions’ the ‘Actions’ but it doesn’t mean that its always necessary to take the Action… sometimes we can do better without it as well.

Inaction – That’s what people need sometimes. Its not a norm to always make a decision. Give it a break and use your chances wisely to chose between Inaction and action. So there you’ve, Inaction Vs Action! :-)

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