I’m not necessarily a fan of quick fixes, as I believe most juicy problems require much more than an hour or two to solve.
That said, if we’re provided with accurate information and representations of ways to address a given problem, we can come up with great solves in a short period of time. This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be wary, but, great plans can provide for efficient solutions.
This applies to both our professional and personal lives. Earlier this year, we had held a conference for roughly three hundred fifty students across twenty-three districts. The conference, which supports young writers, is a great experience for all. This year, we faced a particularly thorny problem: Between the afternoon of the day before and the morning of the conference, we had three presenters (out of twenty-one) cancel. This required quick thinking by all, and a number of steps that we wouldn’t have been able to take, had the planning for the event been so strong.
A closer to home example occurred just last evening. A number of years ago I got my hands on an arcade machine. It’s basically an arcade cabinet with a computer inside that allows you to play all the old arcade games that were popular in the early eighties to early nineties. It’s an amazing “toy” and something that I love to use. When we moved homes, something happened to the arcade, and it stopped working. At the time, our basement wasn’t yet set up to our liking, so I didn’t pursue fixing it (simply because I couldn’t use it yet). However, now that we’ve set up our basement, I took the opportunity to reach out the company and solicit some advice. I received back tremendously helpful information, and within an hour had figured out how to fix everything (it involved a battery replacement, adjusting some connections, and fixing some plugs). In the end, it worked, good as new.
Quick fixes are rarely the answer, but when they are, and when the data supports their usage, we should feel comfortable and confident using them to solve even the thorniest problems.