Speed is far more important than accuracy in securing business success. As the Lee Iacocca, the former boss of Chrysler, once said, “So what do we do? Anything. Something. So long as we just don’t sit there. If we screw it up, start over. Try something else. If we wait until we’ve satisfied all the uncertainties, it may be too late.

Unfortunately, too many business leaders do end up just sitting there, fretting about the uncertainties, rather than trying out a solution. The result is paralysis and inaction.

A few months ago, for example, I ran a workshop for a client to help them develop a new strategy. I recently followed up with my buyer and found out that the team are still developing their plans and have not yet delivered anything.

Yet many of the ideas we developed could have been acted on almost instantly. The solutions may not have been perfect, but I’m sure they would have been good enough and would have allowed the business to learn faster and more cheaply than is likely to be the case now.

I’m not arguing that anything goes and that you don’t need to worry about accuracy at all. But, for 99.9% of you, you are not building a rocket ship or undertaking revolutionary brain surgery. The downside risks of most projects are relatively small and unlikely to bring down your business, let alone create a major catastrophe.

In Aesop’s fable the tortoise beat the hare, but that is why it is a story. I would guess that 99 times out of 100 the hare is likely to cross the line first. The hare may not take such a straight line, but its focus on speed would, most likely, ensure victory. If I were a betting man my money would always be on the hare.

Which kind of organisation do you lead – a tortoise or a hare?

© Stuart Cross 2019. All rights reserved.