When Slower Can Be Better

Every now and then I avoid doing work.  Today I played online puzzle games on as a way to avoid studying math in preparation to take the GMAT.

I noticed that by playing very quickly, I  often missed valuable moves that could have earned me lots of points. I found that I got too focused on one place on the game board, rather than considering the whole  field. By slowing down just a bit, to pull back and consider all of my options I improved my score considerably.

So what has this got to do with leadership, strategy and business? Too often we are exhorted by the gurus that speed to market is essential to effective innovation. Perhaps we should re-think that maxim. Running to market with a badly conceived idea might be the recipe for disaster.

I’m not suggesting moving at the speed of snail mail. Being a “me too” isn’t a route to sustainable success. I’m just suggesting that taking the time to really think through how a new strategy or innovation fits the broader environment, and how it fits with an organizations capabilities might be a good reason to slow down.

Thinking carefully before doing can improve performance. There a few things in life where slower is better.


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