If you're too busy to create, you'll find time to fail

Is busyness killing business? Fast Company:

[Jeffrey] Phillips makes a strong argument for why our busyness is killing our business--that is, if you're in the business of creating anything new.

When we're infatuated with efficiency, Phillips says, we let innovation die. By imprisoning ourselves in metrics, we don't value the less quantifiable, more long-term aspects of value creation, like exploration, empathy, contemplation, and stillness. Since we're conditioned to the thrills of fighting fires, firing off emails, and the validation that gives us, we feel starved of time. And our product development gets malnourished.

Here is Jeffrey Philips on his blog, Innovate on Purpose:

We've been taught to manage our time, focus on what is important, stay occupied and stay in demand. People who are constantly busy are hard to remove, while people who don't seem as engaged in day to day activities or whose capabilities or energies aren't focused on tomorrow's successes are often considered to be less useful or not contributing. Once we are all fully booked every working hour in meetings, discussions and debates we'll finally be fully efficient, and almost as assuredly innovation will wither and die.

"Busyness" in this case may be related to the compunction, simply, to solve a problem instead of discovering the dynamics that created the problem in the first place. The thing is, "finding problems" is associated with the kind of creativity that transcends the incrementalist impulse and the busyness beneath which it hides.

Think of it this way: businesses that break the rules also get to create the rules.

So! How long do you live in the question?


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