Are “Quick Wins” a Myth?

My whole career I have focused on trying to meet businesses’ needs in many, speedy flavors: quick ramp-ups, 90-day agendas, low-hanging fruit, fast starts, and, of course, quick wins.

The intent of quick wins are to prove that you are credible + trustworthy, you can make stuff happen, you can cut through red tape, you can prove your value, you can execute!

But, in dealing with true cultural change, is there such a thing? I struggle with this concept often because there may be no true quick wins when trying to steer a culture a certain and very different direction from its present state.

In times where execution seems to be difficult and “quick” execution almost impossible, I think the value should be placed more on a tangible action plan where there is an end goal defined and progress can be made and measured along the way to reach that end goal rather than ensuring something…anything gets done or rolled out in a short timeframe.

Inherent in the phrase, we are putting more emphasis on “Quick” than we are “Win” because sometimes (even I will caveat with a “sometimes”) “Quick” can be the enemy of a true “Win”…especially in a long-lasting, integrated into workflow, sticky kind of a way.

I think leaders value progress whether quick or slow. When too much conversation, too many opinions being solicited, too many reviews, too much socializing of concepts and approaches stifle action, that is when the “quick win” card gets played.

Focusing on progress can quench the thirst for results. So, let’s start planning and progressing with those quarterly milestones and start making a difference!

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