There is a growing trend in businesses to work fast.
To work in short sprints. To get tasks over the line and stop them from lingering. The prevalent software development working-practices of ‘sprints’, ‘scrums’ and all things ‘agile’ are starting to spread across other industries. This is good.
I think that there is a lot that other fields of business could benefit and learn from agile working practices.
However, the same principle does not apply to ‘thinking’ about a problem or task and how to solve it.
Work fast – Yes. Think fast – No.
Thinking and doing are two very different animals. Doing can be done fast only if we have invested the time upfront to think it through and plan it.
“If I had an hour to solve a problem I’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and 5 minutes solving it.”
– Albert Einstein
And so this is where the danger lies. Diving into tasks with little forethought. Eager to get the task done. Things can then rapidly start to go awry or even break-down completely. We need to take the time out to think slowly first. To adequately prepare for the task at hand. To have conversations. Determine expectations of all stakeholders. Learn from previous similar tasks. Set deadlines, responsibilities and outputs.
Think slow and then work fast should be the order of the day.