Getting Things Done. Just Do It!

Nike’s “Just Do It!” may go down in business books as one of the most successful corporate slogans of all times. Americans in particular seem intuitively to understand the simplicity and common sense behind this concise call to action. So why do so many companies have difficulty launching new ventures? Why do so many organizations bog down in “analysis paralysis,” leaving potential moneymaking new revenue ideas behind in the process?

In my book “Building a Winning Business,” takeaway #37 is titled “Just Do It!” In that short chapter I counsel readers that “It’s better to take action than to procrastinate while obsessing about perfection.” I also advise managers not to let things grind to a halt over a single issue. Business writers and educators Leonard A. Schlesinger, Charles F. Kiefer and Paul B. Brown take this advice to a whole new level in their new book, Just Start: Take Action, Embrace Uncertainty, Create the Future (Harvard Business Review Press, March 2012).

Schlesinger is the president of Babson College. Kiefer is the president of Innovation Associates and Brown is a longtime contributor to The New York Times. Together, they have spent years studying how entrepreneurs “create new products, services and business models in situations where the old methods of analyzing, forecasting, modeling, planning, and allocating don’t work.”

Their bottom line: “Successful entrepreneurs don’t just ‘think different,’ they translate that thinking into immediate action, often eschewing or ignoring analysis. Rather than predict the future, they try to create it.”

In the four posts to follow, I will tell you about their findings (see the March 2011 Harvard Business Review for a more in-depth summary of their insightful new book) and share how this same logic has helped Intertech to move ahead in some key areas of our business