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Friday, April 27, 2018

Lean Quote: A Bias For Action

On Fridays I will post a Lean related Quote. Throughout our lifetimes many people touch our lives and leave us with words of wisdom. These can both be a source of new learning and also a point to pause and reflect upon lessons we have learned. Within Lean active learning is an important aspect on this journey because without learning we can not improve.

"Have a bias toward action—let’s see something happen now. You can break that big plan into small steps and take the first step right away." — Indira Gandhi, Former Prime Minister of India

The phrase “bias for action” adapted from India’s former prime minister has become a mantra for many entrepreneurs and activists. It’s a reminder that it’s not the big idea, but the daily grind toward that idea that counts. Woody Allen said it this way, “Eighty percent of success is just showing up.” And Thomas Edison: “Genius is 99 percent perspiration, one percent inspiration.”

When you look at the life of anyone who’s accomplished anything important, that’s what you’ll find. Successful innovation is less about having ideas than about doing stuff, making it happen, showing up every day, plugging away.

That’s not the part you hear or read about or see in the biopic. But it’s what makes the biggest difference. What step will I check off by Friday? What will I have shipped (in Seth Godin’s words) by the 15th? If I’m not shipping something, I’m just thinking about it.

Says Scott Belsky in Making Ideas Happen:

A relentless bias for action pushes ideas forward. Most ideas come and go while the matter of follow-up is left to chance. Next steps are often lost amidst a mishmash of notes and sketches, and typical creative tools like plain blank notebooks only contribute to the problem. For each idea, you must capture and highlight your “Action Steps.”

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