The Inventor of FOMO Is Warning Leaders About a New, More Dangerous Threat - Deepstash
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The Fear Of Missing Out

The Fear Of Missing Out

FOMO, or the "fear of missing out," has permeated most corners of our popular culture. But rest assured -- FOMO wasn't invented by some Madison Avenue agency. In fact, quite the opposite; the term was created by a Harvard MBA named Patrick J. McGinnis, author of The 10% Entrepreneur.

However, while we have come to use it in our everyday vernacular ("Dude, my dog has serious FOMO every time I leave him at home"), McGinnis actually developed FOMO for the context of business decision-making.


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Fear Of A Better Option(FOBO)

Fear Of A Better Option(FOBO)

Most people don't know that FOMO is just one half of the managerial equation. It has an even darker counterpart -- one that can cripple and then completely ruin companies if it's not managed well.

FOBO, or the "fear of a better option, managers don't act at all, choosing instead to sit back and wait for a better option to come along.

People have long agonized over major life choices, like getting married, taking a job, or buying a house, in hopes of finding a slightly better or radically better option.


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How FOBO Affects Your Office

How FOBO Affects Your Office

FOBO means that managers create as many options as possible, keep them open, and then decide which options work somewhere at the time and place that is most favourable.

Today, when we have so many options, we don't just try to optimize whom we marry, or where we work or live -- we try to optimize nearly every aspect of our lives and we spend inordinate time and energy in the process.

It's the ultimate analysis paralysis that we see plaguing our business climate, and it helps explain why corporations are succumbing to the nimbler start-up culture that is defining business in the 21st century.


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How to avoid FOBO

Leaders must accept that decisions come with downsides, trade-offs, and the risk of failure. Otherwise, they are too slow to react.

With that acceptance in mind, leaders simply must move forward and make the best decision they can.

In a world where innovation is the currency of effective leadership, indecision can be fatal. Blockbuster, Borders, Blackberry, Yahoo, and others failed to innovate, perhaps succumbing to FOMO, FOBO or both.


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