Step back, stride forwards.

Our days are full of information.  Our workplaces demand decisions.  But time is still time.  Hours are still hours.  Our brains are still the same size. 

Our decisions or choices are often made using incomplete information or data, and under time-pressure. 

This pressure can sometimes block us.  We need time to organise our thoughts, or to allow ourselves to process unconscious new information or a sticky problem.   

To let our minds gently unwind and tell us the things that we know but can’t quite see yet. 

At MMC, we try to practice the discipline of taking a step back when faced with these blockages. 

When we do this, it helps ideas breathe and expand.  It also welcomes fresh thoughts, and means we embrace moments when reflection changes our minds, because that is what minds are for. 

In everyday interactions this means that when we ask each other to come back later with any questions or reflections, we mean it.  We crave the idea or the question that comes half an hour later – it is often the most valuable.   

In our work, it means we believe there is benefit in changing our perspective.  Having a coffee and staring out of the window before reviewing a document, can sometimes unlock an insight.  The solution to fix a bug can arrive by magic, whilst half-way through a lunchtime run.  Taking a walk or sleeping on a big decision, can add value. 

We plan and build, and behave in a way that encourages pace but with the agility to handle all this.  It is better to wait a beat to make sure you are making the right decisions, the fullest commitment, and are squeezing the most quality out of our time. 

Life can have a pause button, but it doesn’t yet have a rewind. 

By Ian McClellan, Director.

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