My 3-year-old daughter loves the recent Karate Kid movie with Jaden Smith. We have been watching it a lot lately. There is a line in the movie I think has some relevance to the business environment today.
The character played by Jaden is trying to reassure a friend about an upcoming performance. His counsel? “Play the pauses.” The simple and insightful suggestion is that the musical performance is as much the pauses between notes as it is the notes themselves.
Business is a fast-paced world. It is all about doing more with less, faster than the competition. I have witnessed and heard of many stories about critical mistakes because a decision was made based on a summary of information or a quick overview of circumstances.
Without question, overviews and summaries are a vital part of doing business. It is simply not possible for any member of an organization to master all details relating to every decision. What I am suggesting is that we rethink a little how we manage the swelling tide of information. We need to know when to play the pause.
Team members need to learn how to recognize when to call a time out for vital details that just cannot be accurately summarized. Leaders need to develop confidence in those they lead to encourage their team to speak up and insist the time be spent so a well-informed decision can be made. Taking time to play the pauses will save the time required to recover from critical mistakes.
What are your thoughts? Do you have ideas on how we can condition our teams to know when to play a pause?