I'm Still Thinking...
My wife and I went to see Spring Awakening at the Civic Center last week. Pretty much all week, I was complaining about going. After all, small-town German 19th Century teenage sexual coming-of-age angst isn't exactly my cup of tea... but when you have season tickets, you at least open your mind to trying new things (insert flashbacks of my mom saying, "Just try one bite of spinach, Tim...").
So I went. I was impressed with the set design. Very austere, yet functionally versatile. The lighting wowed me. I tend to geek out on the technical aspects of performances and notice those little details. I liked that the band was on stage with the actors rather than relegated to the orchestra pit. The plot was as expected. A bunch of teenagers trying to figure out their own bodies (as well as each others')... with a less-than-happy ending. And then there was the music... completely edgy alternative rock which flew in the face of the actors and the plot. One of the song titles was "Totaly F&*#-ed" - certainly nothing this fan of jazz would normally listen to. I went away from the show thinking, "It was OK, but I doubt I'd ever see it again."
So nine days later, I'm still thinking about it. I've downloaded a few of the songs to my iPod already. I thought about how all of the adult roles were played by only two actors, which all of the youth were played by distinct actors (great symbolism). I spent time listening to the lyrics and how powerfully they portray the sentiment of the stage plot. I'm not sure but I may actually LIKE "Spring Awakening." But it took me time to process it... on my own... with nobody pressuring me.
That happens a lot in business and in life. We come face-to-face with something outside our comfort zone, and our perceptual filters put up a road block with flashing lights that say, "Do not enter." So new ideas and proposals automatically get shut down. Imagine if there were a two-week waiting period concept perculation. How many ideas that we initially reject would eventually be embraced?
In project management, we like answers and responses and approvals right away. I understand this need for speed on decision-making. But after my own "spring awakening," I'm starting to wonder how many really good ideas get shot down because somebody doesn't have a chance to think about then. Before your next "no" maybe you should ask how quickly they need an answer... you might be surprised how much you think about it afterward.