The power of inaction

I’m going to make a case for doing nothing. It is one of the most underrated tools available to leaders and yet one of the most underused.

In fact, I’d go as far as to say that in our organisations we are obsessed with doing stuff, in most cases regardless of data, evidence or meaningful evaluation. We prefer to be active regardless of whether there is genuine value to the activity, extending this to finding means of justifying our activity with reports, and spurious data points.

There’s a value to doing less that we underestimate. Sometimes things will settle and sort themselves without our interventions. In fact they’ll often thrive quicker if left alone than when targeted with multiple initiatives.

Doing nothing is a choice, it’s an activity in itself, but one that in our current management lexicon has been tainted as somehow being weak and ineffective. When in fact sometime it takes greater bravery and confidence to do nothing, than it does to burst into action.

Less is more. Slow can be the quickest route. And choosing to do nothing can be the most effective action you will ever take.