Why you should often 'Hurry Up and Wait' for insights

In the race for insights, as in space travel, a delayed start might just be the smartest start.

Whenever a new insight team or capability is offered, stakeholders scramble to make use of it. But there's a unique paradox that suggests most stakeholders should 'hurry up and wait. It's akin to the Fermi Paradox's Wait Equation for interstellar travel, which posits that a civilisation could reach its destination faster by delaying departure to take advantage of advancing technology.

Similarly, in developing and deploying new insight capabilities within a business, the 'hurry up and wait' principle is often critical. All stakeholders are naturally keen to harness the power of insights, which often leads to a hurried deployment of nascent capabilities. The fallout? Too often, it's mediocre results, constant refinements, and a lack of dedicated attention.

Here's where the Wait Equation comes into play. Instead of catering to all stakeholders simultaneously, we should often let one stakeholder 'launch' first. Their specific insight needs are met while also ironing out any bugs in the system. Once this process is perfected, it can be smoothly and rapidly redeployed to the remaining stakeholders at high quality, low risk and low cost.

If you're a stakeholder whose needs didn't make the first questionnaire or the first phase of an insight project, don't think of it as though you missed out. Think of it as though you'll get your insights quicker and easier this way. It is very often true!

By embracing a 'hurry up and wait' strategy, stakeholders can ensure the development of a more effective and efficient insight capability. Waiting will often bring about better results faster and with more dedicated attention for each stakeholder. In the race for insights, as in space travel, a delayed start might be the smartest start.