hurry up and wait

Hurry up and wait

It was a quick trip, so Uber made the most sense getting to and from the airport. The first ride had little traffic. Even so, the driver always followed the GPS. He found that every time he diverted, his alternate took longer than the GPS projected route. In contrast, the drive back included a lot of rush hour traffic. So, the driver diverted from GPS and drove through adjacent streets, hitting almost every light as red. There was movement for a few moments, followed by long waits at red lights. A quick look at the freeway showed that it was moving continuously, but slowly. We got to the airport 15 minutes later than the GPS originally projected.

It’s a common phenomenon. The desire to feel movement. The thing is, when movement is also accompanied by long halts, slow movement is better because it is continuous. It’s worth noting as a leader that hurry up and wait is better when the wait time can be significantly reduced then eliminated. If not, it just becomes something that slows the organization down, mistaking brief movement for faster progress.

Posted in Leadership, Strategy.