Rapid change calls for a rapid response, but people often bog down in planning how to react. They confuse getting ready with actual progress. They diddle away precious time preparing to do something. You can analyze the situation to death: Weigh the facts. . . consider your options. . . get organized. . . calculate the best plan of attack. . . then take forever to debug that plan. Meanwhile, the beat goes on. Change, and the problems it creates, won’t wait on you to come up with a foolproof approach. Trouble is a moving target, giving you little time to take aim. By the time you come up with a perfect plan, the problems will have moved on you. And probably grown bigger. Getting ready gets dangerous when it creates a culture of delay. You can take time to roll up your sleeves, but that’s about it.
Today’s rapid rate of change calls for a culture of mobility. Put your faith in action rather than analysis, in pursuit instead of painstaking preparation. Your job is to help the organization dramatically shrink the time it takes to get things done. This means you must be willing to improvise, to feel your way along. You can’t afford to stop and study the situation from all angles before you make a move. Instead of trying to analyze and plan your way through problems, learn your way through the situation. Inertia is more crippling than mistakes. Inaction is the most costly error. So just get going. Mobility will be your best teacher. It’s the fastest way to find out what works and what doesn’t. Just keep moving. When you foul up, fix it. Learn from your mistakes, and plow on. This is how you energize the organization and build momentum. Create a culture of action that can keep up in a world of constant change.