I appreciate a recent post from Donald Miller about how they work at Storyline. He says he’s worked with people and companies where everything is urgent. Emails need a response today. Plans change at the last minute. He says that’s a sign something is off.
Rush happens, but it’s not always necessary. Crisis happens – especially in student affairs. Respond.
But also realize it’s easier to be in crisis mode and react than it is to be disciplined and work ahead. Sometimes we slip into rushing and crisis because it takes less work than being proactive. We feed off the clarifying pressure of the last minute or crisis.
Here are four ways Don says his team avoids the rush:
1. We think long term. At Storyline, we have five year goals. Nobody panics about five year goals. We just point in that direction on the horizon and get moving.
2. We devise a plan. Before moving on anything, we develop a plan. The plan needs to encompass all aspects of the project and everybody involved needs to know where they fit and why what they are doing is important to the overall narrative of the project.
3. We choose pace over profit. Many business owners will cringe at this, but we never go for the quick buck. We’d rather define ourselves by being calm under pressure than by reacting quickly. We want to be the narrative-planning company of the future, not the company of the moment.
4. We are early. By this, I mean we start long before we need to to get the job done. We were a month early on our Christmas campaign, a year early on taking registrations for our conferences, a month early reordering books and so on. Rushing often happens when somebody is late with something. We try not to be late.
What about you? Is “hurry” negative? How do you stay ahead?