How ready are you to try a new idea?  Have you reached a point in your whiteboard exercise where you knew the only reasonable next step was the unknown, uncertain, or unsure…but a step that held promise?  And to stay where you were was a commitment to the tried and somewhat true…but would eventually lead to…well "lead to" is the wrong expression…but it would end up badly?

A few years back Fast Company featured a great article on the 20th anniversary of In Search of Excellence : Lessons from America’s Best-Run Companies.  The article was called, Tom Peters’s True Confessions and had some really interesting insights about the conclusions of 20 years earlier.  One in particular that really grabbed me was a new understanding of his well known mantra, "ready, fire, aim."  He wrote, "action was fine when Search came out, because the norm was analysis-paralysis. So action — any action — was better than "Ready, aim, aim, aim . . ." Today, it’s all about speed. It’s "Fire, fire, fire." If you’re looking for one of the killer apps, from this day forward, it’s speed."

In a related idea, Seth’s post on trial and error is right on target.  How’s this for clarity:

"Error occurs whether you want it to or not. Error is difficult to avoid. It’s not clear that research or preparation have an enormous impact on error, especially marketing error. Error is clearly not in short supply.

Trial, on the other hand, is quite scarce, especially in some organizations. People mistakenly believe that one way to successfully avoid error is to avoid trial."

How do the two ideas relate?  Sounds like a willingness to "fire, fire, fire" is at the heart of avoiding analysis paralysis.

For more on the keys to avoiding analysis paralysis take a look at Fail-safing Early Stage Innovation


Willing to Try…and Even Fail