Many in our industry (and all things tech) toss around the phrase “Move fast and break things.” And treat it like a new concept. But how new is the idea?

Does it mean we’ve forgotten Evel Knievel? You remember: that crazy guy who rode a motorcycle fast and jumped over cars, buses, Pepsi trucks and the fountains at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. He even piloted a rocket-powered cycle over Idaho’s Snake River Canyon. As a result of his career exploits, Knievel became famous for his crashes and was recognized in the Guinness Book of World Records as surviving the most broken bones in a lifetime.

Now what in white jumpsuits does this have to do with business today? I’d argue that with all of our connectedness and technology, we still tend to move slowly and play it safe. Let’s break it down:
• Speed – it takes two days to schedule a 15-minute meeting. Voice-mail tag laps up five full days.
• Safe – let’s call it what it is: the at-work version of playing in elbow, knee and shoulder pads. When what often follows the presentation of new ideas are the dreaded words, “I’m concerned …” Now we’re not breaking anything but spirits.

In Evel’s day (my second grade), my easily influenced friends and I got together, built ramps, and then proceeded to padlessly and helmetlessly jump our bicycles over toy trucks. Crazy? Absolutely. Our parents? Letting us learn. As a result, we gained basic woodworking skills, bike repair, some new words, geometry, physics and … a little ER medicine right on the streets.

My point is, at work, we need to take off the soft, squishy padding, go fast and actually try to break something. Take some chances. Think and act on the fly. Kick “concern” to the curb.

If I can help ramp things up, don’t hesitate to call. Don’t worry, I’ve got the Bactine.

Jamie Michelson, President/CEO