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Bruce Lee might have been referring to improvement in one’s mastery of the martial arts when he uttered the title of this week’s article, but when Daniel Pink referenced it in his latest Pinkcast , it reminded me of how apropos it is to many things.

With gyms closed in Ontario due to the soaring cases of the COVID-19 Omicron variant, I haven’t been witness to the usual annual phenomenon of fitness newcomers doing excessive work outs for the first couple of weeks of January only to stop by the end of the month once other higher priority activities surface.

Personal development is another example. While one could sit down and blitz through a pile of books in one month, if no reading is done the rest of the year, it is not likely to be as effective as reading throughout the year.

I love desserts but am also mindful of the health issues of excessive indulgence. I could quit all sweet foods for a week, but to make a meaningful improvement to my health, I’d be better served by reducing rather than fully eliminating by daily intake of such items on an ongoing basis.

Which brings us to project delivery.

Conducting an intensive risk identification, analysis and response implementation workshop early in the life of a project might seem helpful but if risks are not considered over the remaining life of the project, it is of no value. Instead, spending a modest amount of time regularly managing risks based on the context of the project would be much more effective.

Spending a day brainstorming, scrubbing and documenting lessons (to be) learned at the end of a project or major phase sounds like an efficient use of stakeholders’ time, but you’ll miss out on many experiments which could have resulted in incremental improvements over the project’s duration.

Waiting till year end to do a formal performance review with a team member might align well with compensation policies but they would benefit more from informal ongoing coaching throughout the year.

Consistency creates results!

(If you liked this article, why not read my book Easy in Theory, Difficult in Practice which contains 100 other lessons on project leadership? It’s available on  and on  as well as a number of other online book stores)

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