Patience – Strategic Advantage or Disadvantage?

One surprise for me about social media is Foursquare has made be more patient. Not really PATIENT, mind you, but more patient than I usually am while waiting at retail stores. Instead of being my usual impatient self while cooling my heels in a non-moving checkout line, I’m now usually pre-occupied with checking in on Foursquare.

That personal change got me thinking about the distinct strategic advantages and disadvantages of patience.

Advantages of Being Patient:

  • It allows you time for strategic thinking and completely evaluating a situation.
  • Things have time to fall into place, presenting a clearer strategic view of what’s taking place.
  • You’re okay with waiting until things calm down, putting you in a better position to make strategic decisions.
  • It’s likely you’re empathetic to challenges others face, even if you don’t share them.

Disadvantages of Being Patient:

  • You miss important opportunities to act while you wait for everything to be in place, even things not absolutely necessary to effectively get started with implementation.
  • It’s likely you hold out for information that simply confuses or doesn’t add any real strategic value in clarifying a situation.
  • You ignore the innovative wisdom that comes from going with your instincts and initial perspectives.
  • You may too easily make allowances for team members’ correctable challenges, compromising overall team performance.

There are four strategic advantages along with four corresponding disadvantages for being patient. Do you think it’s more of a strategic advantage or a disadvantage to be patient?

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Mike BrownMike Brown is an award-winning innovator in strategy, communications, and experience marketing. He authors the BrainzoomingTM blog, and serves as the company’s chief Catalyst. He wrote the ebook “Taking the NO Out of InNOvation” and is a frequent keynote presenter.

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