Unhurried at Work
An unhurried approach to work helps teams to work more creatively and effectively.
Using time differently
Unhurried is the pace we set when we’re in tune with what we’re doing. It’s not necessarily going slowly. It’s about finding a way to create resonance between us as we work. If you watch a Formula 1 team at its peak, it services a car incredibly fast. It succeeds because of practice and alertness to each other’s movements. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Periods of intensity are balanced by time for reflection.
Difference and difficulty as a source of creativity
The strength of creative teams lies in their diversity. They are not perfectly aligned or always in agreement. Without some friction, there can be little chance of something new emerging.
Unhurried teams find ways to use - rather than suppress - their differences, so they are a source of insights and new thinking. It's possible to keep companionship even in adversity.
To be creative, we need to move between intense concentration and relaxed reflection. A kind of flexible attentiveness is an antidote to the many things in life that can fracture our attention. It's a practice of bringing attention and curiosity to how we work with others.
The wisdom of uncertainty
Working creatively means being wary of formulaic solutions and models. These offer the comfort of certainty but often at the expense of the liveliness and creativity of the team. It’s more art than science.
With the rise of artificial intelligence and the growing digitisation of work, we need to allow humans to devote their energy to what humans uniquely can do, and which can’t be mechanised or industrialised.
Rather than aiming for perfection, unhurried is a practice. According to legend, at the age of 95, the cellist Pablo Casals was asked why he continued to practise on the cello. He replied, "because I'm beginning to notice some improvement." I don't practice unhurried because I am the most relaxed person on the planet, I do it because it's my learning edge, the thing I need to get better at.
We learn by performing into new roles. There's an element of risk and a willingness to accept the attention of others. The most useful learning is a three-dimensional performance. Like learning to ride a bike, we learn by doing. We can act our way into new ways of thinking, rather than the other way round.