I’ve noticed that often fire, ready, aim is the order we do things in at our companies. Instead, if we spent more time thinking about what we want to do we would have more success that would ultimately come faster.
We often start with what it is that we want to do. The first thing that pops into our head is what we end up doing. If instead we were to spend more time defining what, we might make better decisions that helps us move faster in the end.
Moving fast is counter intuitive. Getting things done quickly does not mean we have to have lots of activity in our life. It does mean that we know what we’re going to do and why we’re doing it is important.
Too often in our business or even personal life we get an idea and start down that road before we’ve put any thought into the idea. We often don’t bother to ask why this particular activity is important or how it fits in with our life and company purpose.
Clarity allows us to move fast. If we double, triple, or even quadruple the time we spend on figuring out what we want to do, the faster we’re going to be able to do it.
This doesn’t mean we should try to build the perfect product. It does mean we should have clarity about what it is that we’re trying to accomplish and what benefit our project will provide. Too many times a new idea is tried without thought going into who is the customer for this idea and what problem will this new thing solve for the customer? The customer could be you, your employees, or those on the outside.
Going slow is designed to help us think more clearly about challenges we’re trying to solve. Spending time going back and forth between what and why takes time. It can be frustrating for those involved. The question should always be answered why is the activity important and is the thing we’re working on the best way to solve this problem.
If we’re trying to provide faster service to our customers we need to ask why faster service is important. Sometimes when we answer why, we might realize it isn’t faster service, but service that’s more accurate. Sometimes it’s neither and the answer of what we should be doing will be completely different. The point is that until we are clear about what and why we should stay away from how things can or should be accomplished.
How’s are where we want to fail fast and fail cheaply. Having an evidence procedure of success is part of putting speed and removing waste from the cycle of innovation. We need to know what success looks like and if we’re moving towards or away from our outcome.
When we understand our evidence procedure we can move at ever increasing speeds to make sure we are producing what we really want to produce. It’s not the speed of what, but the speed of how that makes a big difference. Take some time to figure out what you want to do and how you do it becomes obvious and allows you to move quickly.
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