Try Flexible Instead Of Perfect

Bungee JumpingWe can build things quickly and we can change them easily as well.  I design and build business systems.  I know this.  Getting to the goal means continual change as we learn more along the way.

The old economy trained us to be focused on perfection.  Bad measurements or bad code meant great expense and time.  Change was costly and to be avoided.  It was better to plan.  Planning had a lot more virtue because the nature of our world required it.

Overlaying those old mindsets on the new economy where tools are ubiquitous and modifications are to be expected creates unneeded tension and adds costs in different ways.

Here’s a better strategy for building something.  Focus on being flexible.  Your agility – the ability to change and adapt quickly – is the new muscle to work.  See what reality tells you and ensure your systems don’t paint you into a corner.  Move with the current.

Build a little, then let your people try it out.  Let them tell you what’s wrong and what needs to change.  Capture it clearly.  Change it.  Have them test it and use it.  Repeat.  Keep doing this cycle as much as you can and the process of refinement will help you get to the goal by honing in through repetition.  That’s how winning is done today.

Of course, the irrational may still exist.  The fear of failure or the desire for perfection may have a real grip on your psyche.  The illusion of control has ruined many projects and endeavors.  That’s what rigidity, fear and myopia do. You may feel you are doing right, but the approach misses the target.

We learn by doing.  We get clear by using and experiencing the stuff we create.  Using iteration as a core strategy can help you push forward with opportunities and have fun and freedom to grow with the knowledge that gets revealed.  It’s human and it works.

Is your style more around flexibility or perfection?  How have you found it to work?

Published by Don Dalrymple

I partner with founders and entrepreneurs in startup businesses. I write and consult on strategy, systems, team building and growing revenue.

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