Either we struggle with change or we struggle with productivity. If we struggle with change we struggle to start things, but sometimes we struggled to sustain them. Change is very hard but I’m convinced that one of the reasons we plan so much is because we’re avoiding action. That’s right – I’ll say it again. We’re not foolish. We know that nobody can predict the future and that most attempts to plan into that future will create rough guess estimates at best. So we don’t really believe that planning will save us. It’s time to act.
Wasn’t the promise of agile 20 years ago that we can reduce upfront planning? It’s obvious now that this is a tough nut to crack. We don’t plan because we’re chomping at the bit to get moving. We plan because the act of planning is in and of itself a safe activity. It requires energy to plan. It requires energy to act, to do, to create. To produce and to ship
And yet it seems like we’d much rather do more planning than shipping. Why? Because planning risks nothing. To create deep complex spreadsheets ventures nothing. And the bigger we make those spreadsheets, the more detailed we make those plans, the more likely it is nobody will look at them.
This is very clever, but what’s required is action. We shouldn’t be making deeply complex plans that shield our commitments. We should be making bold declarations and exploring into the unknown. We should be honest about what we know and what we don’t know.
But most importantly, we should ship We should sit down every day and lean into the hard things
Do the things that we keep promising to do but never seem to get around to. Finding the things that we ladle excuses on and stop making excuses. This is simple but hard. Such wisdom is obvious and yet somehow counterintuitive. We know what we should do, but we don’t do it
So what can you do? Commit, fail, recommit, failed, commit, commit, commit. Success comes at the end. Eventually, it sticks. If you commit all the way and nothing happens, try something more reachable. But remember, it still has to be shippable.
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