It has been ten years now since we are running the Chief Reinvention Officer, and every single time we come across a new project, new client, no matter what industry or what country we are talking about, we are faced with pretty much the same thing. The team comes in, we ask the client of their expectations, what is the number one concern in the company, we talk a little bit, and then, there it goes, the exact same response – get it done as quickly as possible.

So, since we are just getting to know each other, and since this is a new effort, here is the deal we want to make with you, something to throw off the chest, so that we are clear and there are no false expectations – here it is: reinvention is not a quick fix. Let that sink in, and we are to repeat it, just one more time – reinvention is NOT a quick fix.

In our society today, and especially in business, we all love a quick fix. We love speed – we actually celebrate speed, always striving and craving for the quick easy solutions, going after the five steps or seven steps to easily implement something. Unfortunately, when it comes down to reinvention, such program does not exist.

However, we keep adoring and writing about it, always celebrating the big turn rounds and the big speeding up numbers. Little did we know that it took fax machines a whole 150 years to get to mass use, though. Compare that to Facebook – to get its 5 hundred million users, it took Facebook only six years. That’s all. And only additional two years, to get another 5 hundred million users for a total one billion. This year, Facebook is about to hit 2 billion. Same as every other program or company. We cherish how Apple has one app being downloaded every millisecond – that is considered to be a great achievement.

We love quick fixes. Had a headache – take the pill. Don’t like a little bit of fat – go for liposuction treatment. Problems knock back at work – if we are tight and the crisis is around the corner, we go for the quickest solution that is to cut the employees, to cut the headcount. This is our love affair – the issue with that, however, is that there are many things we can speed up and we are to speed up again and again. But there are certain things in our life that cannot speed up anyway.

Take pregnancy for example. Despite we can take pride in so many achievements, new technologies and numerous breakthroughs in history of the human kind, as it took an average woman nine months to produce a baby twenty thousand years ago, no matter what technology would develop in the last twenty thousand years, it still takes nine months to get the baby out of a woman.

There are things that are fundamental, transformative to nature, so deep and solid, that these things cannot speed up. Those things require not a quick fix, but on the contrary – a slow fix.

As Professor Jonathan Gosling also says, we truly need for certain areas in our lives – the slow fix. Therefore, Chief Reinvention Officer and all of its tools and methods that comprise the CRO method, in essence, is a slow fix. So take the moment and think – which things in our life do need to speed up, and also, which areas need to slow down? Where do you need a quick fix, and where do you need a slow fix?

What took most of your time during last month? Where do most of your energy go? Answer these questions and put your thoughts into two columns. What activities, projects, issues in life, in general, required quick fixes, and which ones required the exact opposite?

Slow fixes, much like anything else, all require practice, little by little, every day. It may be ultimately true that you hate slow, or even the idea of taking a long vacation where you get to slow down and do nothing a couple of days. Slow things might not gonna be a natural thing for you, but the moment you realize that you start to train yourself and practice.

Or just open a new Google window, type “do nothing for two minutes” and you will end up here – that is virtually a site that asks you to do nothing for two minutes. Some of you might enjoy while some of you will feel like going crazy. In the instance of two minutes, you might start making shopping lists in your head, start discussing with yourself your last meeting or planning the next emails. That’s all right.

It is not about not thinking, it is about slowing down the response to your thought. “I need to throw down an email” – you slow down. “I need to make a shopping list” – you slow down. You start to train yourself, prepare for areas in your life that might require slow fixes.

As you contemplate on this matter, and as we have already emphasized, reinvention is not a quick fix. We can solve out one particular problem rather quickly: reinvent the product, reinvent the process how that product is being made, reinvent a team, so on and so forth. But if you are looking after fundamental scales of reinvention, if you wonder how to build to reinvent, how to create yourself and your career to be reinventing itself over and over, it will not happen overnight. Just like having a baby, it will take some time and no amount of speed and technology will do any good to speed that process off. If anything, it can only damage the end result. Just as speeding up a pregnancy can damage the child, so does speeding up your reinvention maturity can damage the end result. 

In fact, you might as well start thinking here and comment – what are the things you need a slow fix for and what are the ones you need a quick fix. We are sure to answer!


P.S. In case you have missed our previous featured video+blog, don’t forget to check it out here as we discuss why you don’t need to become reinventor. Because you already are. 

3 Responses to “Reinvention is not a quick fix”

  1. Yulianna says:

    Hello Nadia,

    Thank you for the encouraging and useful advices in this particular video. There is a question that has crossed up my mind while watching this video.
    If almost every business person lives on the high speed (like, for example, Kim Kiyosaki advises in her book), what should be the optimal ratio of “slow fixes” vs. “quick fixes”?

    Besides, what if my study takes almost all my daytime, how to distinguish whether I need a slow fix here or a quick fix? Am I right, that I can gain some skills of “speed reading” that can speed up my study process (and it would be a quick fix)?

    Thank you!

    • Nadya Zhexembayeva says:

      Dear Yulianna, thank you for your question and your participation in this community. There is not perfect number in the ratio of “quick fix” vs. “slow fix”. It all depend on what you are doing and more importantly what are you trying to achieve. If you are in your studies and want to soak as mych knowledge and experience as you can, then let that be taking most of your time and presence. That is your time now for slow now, don’t try to speed it up. I love your proposal on speed reading skills, why not right? Or maybe you can try to connect with you peers and older students in special groups, to convey conversations and teaching on a topic, whihc will engage your thinking on a topic on a much wider scale and give you time to meet new people. What do you think?

      • Yulianna says:

        Nadya, so that slow fixes are really the matter of prioritizing your activity and time then? The slower you get, the better you can reinvent that activity and the better outcomes you will have in return, or that is a different concept?

Leave a Reply