Strategic Laziness

Is being lazy a strategic asset?

I think it is. 

When the Greek hero Heracles had to clean out the Augean stables full of manure, he realized that even with his God-like powers, it would take him months of hard work. After some deep thinking, he re-routed a nearby river to flow through the stables. The work was done within hours.

The most precious resource in every organization is organizational energy. If you want to achieve big goals, why not use this to find new and creative ways to get things done with the least amount of effort, instead of going into gung ho mode and use all of it for a frontal action assault? 

Laziness is often associated with sloth, disinterest and low quality, the ‘just right mentality.’ Strategic laziness on the other hand, aims at achieving the perfect fit: True, right, now. 

It’s focused on success, not on perfection. 

There are three questions which trigger creative thinking about strategic laziness:

  • What does the minimum version of wild success look like?
  • If we only had half—budget, time, and people―how would we do it instead?
  • How much additional thinking time will we claim, in order to cut our action time by at least 50%?

‘Doing more’ is no longer the answer to ‘too much to do.’ The new answer is strategic laziness.

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