Speed or complexity – it pays to know the difference

Superfast racing cars are supremely designed for speed on predictable racetracks.

They wouldn’t be much help on winding country roads with steep hills, humps and potholes. Their aerodynamic, road-hugging profile would be wasted. On the other hand, a tractor would be in its element.

Conversely don’t waste time pondering how to respond to a fire, except to figure out its source. Time is everything.

There’s a cultural danger that we conflate the need for speed with the challenges of complexity. The latter requires a much deeper response, seen from multiple angles. Simply putting your foot on the accelerator won’t solve these kinds of problems.

So go find those complex, uncertain and unpredictable challenges where you can offer your best thinking. Where you can bring fresh eyes, new ideas and more heart.

Here’s where you can make the most difference. Just don’t judge the quality of the response by how long it takes.