top of page

Longer to Cook Beans than to Plan a Wedding?

I sense that marital engagements are getting longer. Weddings are often 18 months or more after the couple have decided to get married. It seems all that time is needed to plan the wedding.

On the other hand, my sisters and I planned my mother’s funeral in five days. We located a venue, invited the guests, planned the menu, and determined the speakers. It was as lovely an event as a funeral can be. I’m pretty sure planning for a wedding is not that much more complicated.

I am making minestrone soup tonight and always start with dried garbanzo beans. If I don’t start the soaking process the night before or first thing in the morning, the beans will not be ready to cook in time for dinner. There are no shortcuts. (Okay, buying canned beans is a shortcut but it's also an inferior product.)

So, something that seems like it should take a long time--planning an elaborate event--can be done very quickly. And something that feels easy--cooking beans--needs time.

As a leader, we often need to decide if a decision we are about to make needs time to percolate or can it be implemented immediately. How to know?

I consider a number of factors:

  • Urgency. The more urgent the decision the more quickly it needs to be made and the less time is available for collaboration.

  • Impact. The more impactful a decision, the more time needs to be dedicated to considering it.

  • Resources. The more resources needed, the more time needed.

  • Controversy: The more controversial a decision might be, the more time needed to decide and to communicate the whys of the decision

  • Culture. A culture that values quick decision making expects short timeframes for decisions to be made and implemented. Other cultures expect all decisions are labored over.

  • Values. A decision that aligns with an organization’s values can be made more quickly than one that does not.

The timeframe for decision making is not always obvious. The above factors may help decide at what speed you can and should move.


bottom of page