The rule of 2…

(or: which part of the creative process are you?)

I’ve found that when I start something new (new process, new functionality etc.) then it often tends to follow the same pattern, which means it takes:

  • 2 seconds to get the initial idea – that flash of inspiration that tells you that something could be done better/smarter etc.
  • 2 minutes to think though the concept and the implications and convince yourself that it is indeed a good idea.
  • 2 hours to write up a case for the change with arguments and benefits, a quick impact assessment etc.

But then it takes:

  • between 2 days and 2 weeks to convince those around you that it is indeed worth the hassle of making a change and upsetting the status quo.
  • between 2 months and 2 years to actually approve and implement the changes and see the original idea come to fruition and deliver value to the business.

And so you might ask, what can I use this for? Well, perhaps to think a little about where your strengths are and where you want to be in this cycle? Are you the person who gets the initial idea and sticks with it for just long enough to explain it to someone else, or are you the person that gets a kick out of following something for a long time to finally see it deliver value?

I guess there is no right or wrong answer, but for me personally at least it has made me understand a little better how long I prefer to stick with an idea before handing it over to someone else – and of course what projects I should try and avoid getting assigned to 🙂