Episode 21 of THE THINKING LEADER PODCAST: Mick Paisley: On Leading Leaders! Click here to listen.

Slow Down to Speed Up

Feb 20, 2020

And spend now to save later.

Doing this will invariably go against every grain in your body, but if you’re going through a transformation you’re going to have to unlearn those behaviours and feelings and do what’s right but what feels wrong. 

If you need to go faster (or are told to do so), then if you simply do your best, try harder, work more hours and add more story points to your sprint (because that always works!), then you will actually go slower – this is proven. Other bad things are also likely to occur… ‘Cliff Approaching!’ springs to mind. 

If your business is trying to do something that is really complex and difficult, and which brings about major change for most of its people, which any transformation will do, then you need to support them, and you need to do it right.  Your people are your No. 1 asset. 

It is better to invest now, surge the support upfront, plan effectively, and get the results you need in a timely fashion, than to trickle feed it, on the cheap, and expect the same results. Ultimately, if you choose the trickle option, it will cost you more in the long run – caused by a lack of safety, productivity, and clarity; all of which lead to an increase in confusion and a decrease in morale, with an actual drop in workforce capability rather than the increase you were aiming for.  Rocket science this is not. 

Likewise, spending your budget on a global consultancy that promises the Earth isn’t wise either. 

This is why transformations fail, and it starts at the top. 

So, if you want/need to go faster, then you need to do two simple things – slow down and spend now. It’s a bit like letting go of control as a leader – it feels wrong, but you just have to do it. 

And if you slow down and spend now, your people will become more competent, they will have more clarity on what’s required, and you will feel more comfortable relinquishing control down to the level where the right decisions can be made, and made much quicker than you ever could. The business will also save money in the long term through increased effectiveness and efficiency. 

So trust me…slow down, spend now and just let go, and very soon you’ll be flying and won’t care about those approaching cliffs.

Roads? Where we’re going we don’t need roads…

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