There’s a very fine line between planning and over-planning.
Take this story, a wonderful excerpt from Brian Johnson of Optimize. It speaks volumes.
The ceramics teacher announced on opening day that he was dividing the class into two groups. All those on the left side of the studio, he said, would be graded solely on the QUANTITY of work they produced. All those on the right solely on the QUALITY.
His grading procedure was simple. On the final day of class he would bring in his bathroom scales and weigh the work of the ‘quantity’ group. Fifty pounds of pots rated an ‘A,’ forty pounds a ‘B,’ and so on. Those being graded on ‘quality,’ however, needed to produce only one pot. But that ONE pot needed to be perfect in order to garner an ‘A.’
Well, came grading and a curious fact emerged. The works of highest quality were all produced by the group being graded for QUANTITY. It seems that while the ‘quantity’ group was busily churning out piles of work — and learning from their mistakes — the ‘quality’ group had sat theorizing about perfection. In the end the quality folks had little more to show for their efforts than grandiose theories and a pile of dead clay.
It’s only by DOING, and being willing to make mistakes, that we learn and get better!