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Don't let "perfect" be the enemy of "good"

Updated: Feb 19, 2020

Perfect is good, impact is better

Ann Mei Chang's book, "Lean Impact" provides a Lean Start-up and innovation focus to the challenges of reach, scale and impact for executives seeking to innovate and provide greater social good.

Lesson One for me was "Relentlessly Seek Impact".

Lesson Two is "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good".

Ann Mei Chang explains this as follows:

Newton's second law of motion states that the greater the weight of an object, the more force is required for acceleration. So to make your job easier, lighten the load by constantly driving down both cost and complexity. An intricately crafted intervention might make a big difference for a few. But would you make a greater impact by getting something slightly less comprehensive to a hundred or a thousand times more people? Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

In the context of "research action" intervention development, we can consider this a call for agile responses and lean teams. How quickly can we get an intervention to market? And once there how quickly can we conduct our learning cycles so that we deliver impact while assessing and improving the quality of those impacts?

Perfect is great, but impact is better!

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