This week I had a chance to attend a professional conference and had an enjoyable time getting to know some of my colleagues in academic and student affairs across the MnSCU system. While there I attended an interesting keynote session on organizational change.
The speaker discussed the importance of setting a vision and plan for change, but he also stressed the critical need for spending enough time to build the relationships necessary to help the change move forward. He called this “going slow to go fast.”
A recent blog post from Partnering Resources made the same point. The consultant talked about the long-term problems caused by short-term activity that doesn’t identify the core issues or create stakeholder engagement. The post identified two types of pain:
- Back-end pain such as political difficulties, false starts, and putting out fires, often caused by too-quick rush to implementation.
- Front-end pain caused by impatience to stop all the talking and get moving.
While it can be frustrating, taking time to carefully identify the issues and build strong coalitions can lead to quicker success down the line. Working through the pain on the front end can often eliminate a lot of difficulties later.
What strategies do you use to slow down so you can go fast?
Dee Anne Bonebright