Is “good enough” good enough?
Several years ago, I wrote a column suggesting there are certain situations in which it is better to deliver work that is less than perfect. It resulted in an angry e-mail from a reader, aghast that I was advocating for anything less than an above-and-beyond effort. “Leaders expect high performance from their staff,” she said, “and employees should strive to deliver nothing less than 100 per cent.” But I stood by my assertion then, and I still stand by it now.
My insight comes from the natural world, and it is subject of my column this morning in The Globe and Mail. In The compelling case for ‘good enough’ in the workplace, I explain how organisms in nature never seek to achieve a perfect solution; they just keep adapting until things are “good enough.” The phrase “good enough” normally carries negative undertones. But if we can get past that, it’s biggest prize is adaptability; and long-term survival.
If you’re a paid online subscriber to The Globe, here is a direct link to the column on their site: https://tgam.ca/2IK9DmN. If you’re a subscriber to the print edition, my column is expected to publish there on Wednesday.
Well, what is your reaction to “good enough”? Do concur with my perspective? Or do you agree with the horrified reader who wrote to me several years ago? I want to know what you think, and what your experiences have been. Please share by commenting below.
If you want to catch up on some of my past columns in The Globe and Mail, here are some of my most recent ones: