“We can’t afford to wait”

I’ve heard this phrase many times to get support and approval for making big, untested changes.

Many of the people who said that eventually lost their jobs precisely because they didn’t wait and test to see if their big idea was worthwhile.

I agree that we often can’t afford to wait. That’s why I wonder why so many leaders put off testing things so they will have the answers when they need them, rather than waiting until they are backed in the corner with no more time to wait.

1 thought on ““We can’t afford to wait”

  1. I am an emergency physician by training and over the years I’ve learned that despite the fact that most people want you to, “don’t just stand there, do something,” the best course (especially when you’re not sure of the problem) is “don’t do something, just stand there.” Of course, politicians feel the pressure to immediately come up with some new law (usually with a name that ironically implies that it will achieve the opposite of what it eventually ends of achieving) meant to placate the masses and hence garner votes rather than to actually solve the problem. The result, more often than not, is that the unintended consequences of the law far outweigh its original intent.

    An example from my own practice is the patient who comes in screaming that he just ate a piece of chicken and choking and can’t breathe. Rushing to perform a Heimlich maneuver to dislodge the offending morsel may be unwise. The fact that the patient is screaming is evidence that he can and is breathing. The more common occurrence is that the food has lodged in his esophagus and the Heimlich maneuver may have serious unintended consequences.


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