Will the boat go faster?

Four men in suits are rowing in a rowing boat with skyscrapers behind them, trying to go faster

What questions do you ask to keep you focused?

Every member of the ICC team has been fortunate to experience some epic adventures in life and these ensure our outlook is both colourful and considered. Our Co-Founder, Jazz Cool, raced around the world in a yacht in the early 2000’s and still draws on lessons learned on that boat, ‘London’, to this day. 

A question that Jazz poses almost every week in the ICC offices is: 

Does it make the boat go faster? 

Let’s break that down… 

When Jazz and the team were in the thick of it, in the depths of an inhospitable ocean, they had to make hundreds of decisions per day. They were in their ‘boat bubble’ with very limited information coming in from ‘the real world’ and it was important that the team agreed on the decisions they were making. They decided very early on that there was one key question to ask whenever a decision needed to be made or a task needed to be completed:  

Does it make the boat go faster?  

If the answer was ‘no’, that task would be de-prioritised or a different approach would be selected. In other words, the team kept the main objective (we want to win this race) front and centre, and every decision was aligned to that goal. 

This approach is very effectively transferred across to our professional lives and indeed, helps to keep the ICC team focused on priorities on a daily basis. We know our long-term goal, and we’ve set out the tasks that we need to complete in order to achieve it. When we have a new idea, or something unexpected lands on our desks needing immediate attention, we’re able to prioritise by asking the question: ‘will this move us closer to our long-term goal?’ When we keep the goal in mind, decisions are quicker and ‘to do’ lists are prioritised more effectively. 

So next time you’re faced with a tricky decision, or you’re juggling a multitude of tasks, ask yourself, ‘does it make the boat go faster?’, and see if that helps. 

ICC – Your Two-Minute Coach 

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