If it isn’t hard, it probably isn’t worth it

by 02 Mar 2017
David Lykken

In business, technology is all about finding shortcuts. We're always looking for easier ways of doing things. We want to streamline our processes, automate our tasks, and eliminate redundancies.
There's nothing wrong with that. If we can get the same amount of work done in less time while using fewer resources, why shouldn't we?

Obviously, I'm a big fan of using technology. However, I think that our dependence on technology can sometimes spoil us in other areas. When some things become easier, we may find ourselves reluctant to work hard in other areas.  Sometimes, the thing that makes an activity difficult is the very thing that makes it lucrative. 

On the Feb. 20 episode of my Lykken on Lending podcast, my cohost Andy Schell used the analogy of refusing to carry bars of gold and instead settling for chunks of coal simply because the gold is heavier and therefore harder to carry. Just because something is difficult, that doesn't mean we should discount it. On the contrary, sometimes we should investigate it further precisely because of how difficult it is.

Take a training program, for example. Suppose you are trying to get your team to learn a new process through a certain training program. It might be difficult and it might take a long time.
Perhaps other companies have tried and given up on it. But what if you push your team to see it through to completion? Maybe you would have a competitive edge over those who refused to put in the work. 

Some things can be made easier through technology; others will always require hard work. But remember, if it isn't hard then it probably isn't worth it.