If you have not read In Praise of Slow by Carl Honore, I recommend you do so. He gives blistering criticism of society’s obsession with speed, and holds the mirror for us to see its consequences on the environment and quality of life. “Slow” does not mean lazy or languid. It does mean conscious, deliberate and fully present use of a precious, non-renewable resource – time.
This philosophy resonates with me in my work and my life. One of my favorite clients is Slow Food Calgary, part of the global movement aimed at preserving regional food and the joys of dining and conversing together. Every summer, our family vacations in the Okanagan, often visiting Naramata, one of two Canadian communities to earn the designation of a Slow City. We are fans of Calgary architect John Brown whose firm housebrand designs reasonably priced Slow Home alternatives to the cookie cutter world of fast houses.
I have also come to realize that I believe strongly in Slow Consulting. For me, slow consulting means taking the time to:
- Fully understand the context including the history and current dynamics impacting my clients
- Clearly understand client needs and project expectations before jumping into action
- Develop a completely customized approach or solution, not a quick fix
- Pay attention to the group dynamics even when time pressured to focus on project results
- Change course when new client priorities emerge
- Plan next steps
This might just sound like effective consulting but my lens is to be in the moment, aware of the journey and the destination, and be willing to go slow in order to go fast.
Wishing you a Slow Summer.