In my first book, I introduced a concept I believe to be both simple and profound, which may just be what makes a remarkable concept remarkable.
I call it “structured flexibility”. You can infer its meaning from the name, but truly understanding it and applying it takes a concerted effort.
We are always seeking growth — in our revenue, our follower counts, our career, our health. Growth requires a methodical approach. Growth goals benefit from moving slowly to build a structure. The structure provides guardrails for selecting actions you will take in pursuit of the goals.
Structure is an enabler. It enables confidence in what you do. It enables a way to measure successes or failures. It enables continual improvement. The structure can be returned to, recalibrated, and improved.
Few love structure. Perhaps military leaders. Certainly not entrepreneurs.
We strive for flexibility — and for good reason. Flexibility allows for creativity. Straying from the set path is exciting. That means exploration, adventure, and opportunity. That’s what we want.
Overuse of structure is dangerous, inhibiting expansive thinking.
Overuse of flexibility is dangerous, causing misguided efforts.
The permission to stray from a structure after the discipline to define a comprehensive and reliable structure is our objective. If you permit too much flexibility too soon, you’ll never complete the structure that you need.
The onus is on you to be self-aware and diligent about where you draw the lines between structure and flexibility. The two are powerful in tandem, but it isn’t something that can be finitely prescribed for everyone. Even for the same person, it will vary from situation to situation.
First, focus on marrying the two concepts in your mind. Then, apply the concept to a project and follow through with your actions.
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Entrepreneurship is chaos and anarchy in the pursuit of order and control.