My dear old dad used to say he was baffled by people who spent good money on a watch that would be ‘accurate to within a 1,000th second over 100 years’ (or whatever the claim) because no one needs that accuracy.
True – but time and some precision is surprisingly prevalent (some would say dominant) in much of our lives. The other Saturday I made a day trip to York. To summarise my day in terms of times …
5.15am Rude alarm awakening
5.59 Three trains to arrive in York (on time) at 8.31
9am parkrun time 23.32 (9 seconds off my personal best for York)
11.30am and 1.00pm – Two meetings
3.00pm York City vs Tranmere Rovers (my team) – 90 minutes + 9 minutes extra time
18.31 Two return trains arriving (4 minutes later than advertised) 21.11
The first blog in this pair on the theme of time [https://enterpriseessentials.wordpress.com/2015/02/24/time-trials-1-precious-time] shows how the importance of time depends on the context.
At The Repair Shed – our burgeoning social enterprise in Hemel Hempstead – we’re enjoying funding support from the Innovation in Waste Prevention Fund. The implication of this is that we have to account for our spending (how much) and demonstrate our achievements (how well) in a time-limited period that ends on 30 November 2015.
I’m the first to say that, when spending someone else’s money (and even when we’re not -see https://enterpriseessentials.wordpress.com/2014/04/29/building-a-shed-the-second-100-days) we should be accountable, but the clocking is ticking. We now have to try to realise the plan of action we submitted to the funders according to the timetable we presented with our bid for their support.
But where ‘innovation’ is concerned there’s inherent risk that things will not happen when/how it was intended – assuming the innovation is real. And we’re working with volunteers who can simply walk away, so there’s no guarantee of having feet on the ground and hands on deck to make it happen at all!
So the time pressure is real and I’m reminded once again of Olive Quinton‘s insight around starting a business (she created social enterprise Lofty Heights) – be patient; other people’s timetables will be different from yours.
I’ll try to be patient Olive, but it won’t be easy.
PS Here’s a tip when organising meetings. If you advertise an unusual start time – 2.13pm say – people are more likely to remember it and turn up on time!