“A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan next week.” – George Patton
“Once I have X, I can do Y.”
This phrase is the defining characteristic of the toolbox fallacy: thinking you can’t do something until you have the right tool.
The toolbox fallacy is self-deception disguised as excuses or a lack of “tools”. The issue with these tools is that you believe that you need them and thus, can’t (or won’t) start a project without them.
“As soon as my Apple Watch arrives, I’ll start training for the 5K.”
The problem is when X arrives, do you crack on and get started with the Y? Often times, it’s too easy to continue down the slippery slope of toolbox logic.
“My Apple Watch arrived, but now I need a coaching app – which I am yet to have downloaded.”
So, how do you overcome the toolbox fallacy? Simple: You default to action. In other words, you get the ball rolling – whether you have all the tools you think you need or not.
The solution, in a sense, is to be more agile.
In this post I’ll be looking at how to overcome the toolbox fallacy by putting the systems in place to move fast, and with virtue. I’ll try to address:
- How do you plan and structure clear action items, so you can move fast and be sure you’re making the right decisions?
- How will you move fast without breaking things (by things I mean humans)?
And, to sum things up I’ll take a look at how we at Process Street use OKRs to decide when it is we should be moving fast vs when we should be slowing down.
To jump to a specific section click the appropriate links below:
- Toolbox fallacy: Once I have X, I can do Y
- Moving fast with the toolbox fallacy
- A framework to move fast (& with virtue)
- How our OKRs help us avoid the toolbox fallacy
Let’s start by unpacking the toolbox fallacy in more depth! 🛠