Chief EXPLORER and Executive Coach
WIP or Work in Progress used to have a bad rap in organisations. It reminded managers that certain tasks were “not completed” yet. Tsk tsk.
Today, that same term has evolved into something far more powerful thanks to the software industry denoting Agility, Always On, Always Learning, Always Re-iterating and essentially flexible and adaptable to the environment and itself.
The above shift has made a lot of us look at the “progress” part of WIP, rather than the “incompleteness” which is seen as boon not bane now.
What does this shift mean and how does it impact us today ?
Here’s a take from Jocelyn K Giei’s book, Maximize your potetnial ( excerpted from Brian Johnson’s Philosopher’s notes)
WELCOME TO PERMANENT BETA
“Software companies often keep the ‘beta’ label on software for a time after the official launch to stress that the product is not finished so much as ready for the next batch of improvements. Gmail, for example, launched in 2004 but only left official beta in 2009, after millions of people were already using it. Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, concludes every annual letter to shareholders by reminding readers, as he did in his first letter in 1997, that ‘it’s still Day 1’ at Amazon.com: ‘Though we are optimistic, we must remain vigilant and maintain a sense of urgency.’ In other words, Amazon is never finished: It’s always Day 1. For entrepreneurs, finished is an f-word.
Finished ought to be an f-word for all of us. We are all works in progress. Each day presents an opportunity to learn more, do more, be more, and grow more. Keeping yourself in ‘permanent beta’ makes you acknowledge that you have bugs, that there’s more testing to do on yourself, and that you will continue to adapt and evolve. It means a lifelong commitment to continuous personal growth. It is a mind-set brimming with optimism because it celebrates the fact that you have the power to improve yourself and, more important, improve the world around you.”
— Jocelyn K. Glei from Maximize Your Potential
Yay to permanent beta !!
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