BINUS Business School


Author: Sri Bramantoro Abdinagoro (Deputy Head of Doctoral of Research in Management • BINUS Business School). This article was originally published at

Something excessive, such as overthinking many events in the last election, is not good.

According to Smith & Alloy (2009), overthinking is a condition where people think too much about one’s life, choices and experiences. This condition often causes analysis paralysis, which makes decision making very difficult. The state of overthinking can occur when the mind works too hard, constantly thinking about possibilities, potential outcomes, and worst-case scenarios. Some of the triggers for overthinking are perfectionism, fear of failure, negative experiences in the past, and feelings of low self-esteem.

“Overthinking can be dangerous as when someone thinks too much, they may constantly dwell on past events, worry too much about the future, and often second-guess themselves. They may spend a lot of time and energy analyzing every detail of a situation, which can lead to mental exhaustion and hinder their ability to make clear decisions.”

Overthinking can certainly happen to everyone and is dangerous because it can have an impact on a person’s mental health and overall well-being. Moreover, the results of ideas, the results of analysis from overthinking which should be based on excessive worry then become excessive analysis too. Even worse, if the ideas and analysis are then spread on social media which many people read, because they think that social media is the one that is believed to be a channel for spreading ideas and analysis.

What happens is that overthinking spreads quickly like a virus. After the election period, the overthinking virus has the potential to spread. At least, in every successful team or candidate pair winning team, there are also sympathizers who become impromptu observers and become personal advocates (personal defense). If overthinking is in the realm of individuals and general society as above, is it possible for it to happen on a company scale? Should overthinking be caused in making company strategy?

There is a lot of potential for overthinking in preparing company strategy. When starting to carry out analysis, generally the internal conditions of the company are evaluated and assessed, then the external conditions of the company. That is the most popular analysis, namely SWOT analysis. Internal conditions are of course a rational analysis because the person who best understands the company’s strengths and weaknesses is the company itself.

The potential opportunity for overthinking actually appears greater when an external analysis is carried out, regarding opportunities and, most importantly, challenges. The external factor of a company is uncontrollable, therefore various assumptions will arise and all scenarios will soon appear. Therefore, overthinking of company strategy is a condition that refers to excessive analysis and contemplation of various possibilities and scenarios for the direction and goals of a company. This often leads to indecision and inaction, as the process of overthinking can create a multitude of options and potential outcomes. This often leads to indecision and inaction.

To avoid excessive thinking about the company’s strategy, it is important to establish a clear decision-making process and set realistic goals and objectives. Seeking input from a variety of stakeholder groups and utilizing market research and data can help provide a more objective perspective. The keywords here are realistic and objective. There are several steps or points to avoid overthinking in the company, especially in preparing company strategy.

The first thing is to conduct a thorough analysis, not based on excessive assumptions. Having complete and accurate data, as well as the ability to process it (data mining), certainly provides better certainty so that more precise and accurate predictions can be made.

The second is, trusting the competency and experience of the leadership team and not second-guessing every decision. Leadership plays an important but dangerous role if the leadership team has been affected by overthinking, so the leadership team should ideally be free from the overthinking virus. The leadership team should ideally be free from the overthinking virus. Overall, finding a balance between thorough analysis and decisive actions is key to avoiding overthinking about corporate strategies. By focusing on the most important priorities and aligning them with the company’s overall vision, leaders can move forward with confidence and clarity.

Looking for perfection is a common thing, but it is important to realize that there is no perfect decision or strategy and adjustments can always be made along the way. Therefore, a company’s ability to adjust to a dynamic external and internal environment is highly necessary. Dynamic capabilities, or the ability to integrate, build and reconfigure resources, are crucial in learning competitive advantage in unstable environmental conditions (Eisenhardt and Martin, 2000). Dynamic capabilities enable companies to maintain their new competencies to meet the changing market demands, and include the ability to integrate, learn, and reconfigure the skills and resources of internal and external organizational sources (Teece, 1997).

In addition, dynamic capabilities enable, first, to sense and shape opportunities. Second, to seize opportunities. And third, to sustain competitiveness through improving, combining, protecting, and reconfiguring their intangible and tangible assets. (Teece, 2007). It is important to realize that not all thoughts are bad. It is normal and necessary to consider various options and consequences in decision making. Thinking is an important part of human and corporate existence. It allows humans and companies to understand the dynamic world and environment, plan for the future, and reflect on the past. However, when patterns of thinking become excessive, repetitive, and negatively focused, it can lead to overthinking and too much rumination. This mental habit represents the dark side of our minds that can have a significant impact on our mental health, productivity, and overall quality of life (Roberts, 2023). Something excessive, such as overthinking in many events during the recent election, as well as in planning a company’s strategy, will not be a good thing. ***

Sri Bramantoro juga menulis artikel-artikel bisnis yang dipublikasikan di berbagai media nasional maupun internasional. Ia telah mendapatkan penghargaan sebagai “Best Paper” pada konferensi internasional Business and Information (BAI) tahun 2018. Selain itu, ia juga pernah menjadi juri pada beberapa kompetisi bisnis terkemuka di Indonesia dan sering berbicara pada konferensi bisnis internasional. Dalam pengajaran, Sri Bramantoro fokus pada pengembangan keterampilan manajemen strategis dan kewirausahaan bagi para mahasiswa Binus Business School.