No Such Thing As A Quick Win

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Quick WinA very often used phrase in the office, a Quick Win. A convenient metaphor to get something done which has quick (and visible) results. But, most of the time it remains to be seen if it actually benefits anything in the long term. Most of the time it’s nothing more than pleasing a co-worker, manager or even a stakeholder.

And that’s the point. We often apply time and resources to something which later needs to be adapted or corrected to fit long term development or advancement.

If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right.

You need a plan

This is applicable to most situations, but it’s very apparent when using social media. Often a business feels the strong need to have a social media presence and the first thing they do is create a Facebook Page or a Twitter account and start posting.., something.., anything. But.., this is a quick win. A way to show management that “we’re social”. In a previous article I talked more about why this doesn’t make you a social business.

The time and effort being put into this “social media presence” is wasted without a proper, long term plan.., or strategy.

You need to stick to the plan

Well.., of course monitoring and adapting is part of the plan, change is the only constant.., right?

But, good suggestions for improvement should always be considered and consequently be implemented in a thorough and proper manner.
It also means that if it is not a good suggestion then it shouldn’t be implemented, especially if the only reason is to please somebody.., even if it is a stakeholder.

Mind you, adapting quickly to change is not the same as a quick win. The blackout at the Super Bowl demanded a quick response from marketeers (and some did very well). But these teams have protocols (or agencies) in place to deal with these sort of situations. There is nothing spontaneous about it.

Do you Quick Win

Harvard Business Review goes on explaining about 5 Quick Win traps (register for free to read the full article “The Quick Wins Paradox”). This article is from a (transitional) leadership point of view. But I believe they are still relevant.

These 5 traps are:

  1. Focusing too heavily on details (getting bogged down in details prohibits you to see the whole picture)
  2. Reacting negatively to criticism (or providing only negative criticism, it’s just not productive)
  3. Intimidating others (or being intimidated by others, either way not a healthy place to be)
  4. Jumping to conclusions (making changes on assumptions will invariably lead to corrections in the long run)
  5. Micromanaging (taking control of everything only slows down progress)

Do you deviate from the plan, do you often implement a quick win?

Author: Rogier Noort

Digital Transformer | Thinker | Listener | Speaker | Podcaster | Writer | Blogger Twitter or LinkedIn.

4 thoughts on “No Such Thing As A Quick Win”

  1. I think quick wins are a by product of doing the right thing. Low hanging fruit doesn’t magically appear, it’s the result of months, even years worth of hard work.

  2. Hi Rogier!

    It’s certainly better to be prepared with a long term vision for what it is you want to accomplish, rather than blindly going at something hoping to see positive results.

    Quick wins are temporary and relying on this is like riding a roller coaster at Magic Mountain. This mindset often leads to hard, painful lessons in the school of life and business.

    Long term success and/or industry leadership only happens with a plan.

    Solid post, sir! : )

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