Monday, May 09, 2011

Thrash Early

In Linchpin, Seth Godin talks about thrashing early. Often we do things on our own in an organization and then the closer we get to the finish line of a project, the more and higher up people get involved in approving the end product. That is thrashing late... only getting the collective wisdom of the team near the end when it's too late to make it better. Thrashing early is hashing things out on the front end, and then as the project goes along there's less and less input needed from others.

That's thrashing early as a team, but what about thrashing early internally with your own relationship to the project? It's easy to put off the hard trashing til later. You glance and see a couple of things that need to change in that print piece being designed, but you think you'll let it go. And then you find yourself (on the day the piece was going to print thousands) having to hold things up because that one sentence doesn't make sense. You knew it wasn't right a week ago, but you didn't thrash early and say something.

Or, what about when you half-way review some creative work and think it's good enough, but then right before time to ship you see something that could have made it 10 times better.

Thrash early! Engage your brain and heart fully early on so there's time to act on what you think and feel before you get too close to the shipping date.

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