Abstract and adaptation from Originals by Adam Grant.
Along with providing time to generate novel ideas, procrastination has another benefit: it keeps us open to adapting our strategy. Some executives formulate a strategy and then stick to it. Those that delayed this process are more flexible and versatile, able to change their strategies to capitalize on new opportunities and defend against threats. It was Mike Tyson who said, "Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face."
Creative leaders are great procrastinators, especially when it comes to market timing.
Bill Gross started Idealab more than twenty years ago. Idealab started upwards of 100 companies, enjoying some successes and suffering many failures. Bill set off to pinpoint which factors accounted for a company's success or its failure. He took a quantitative approach to analyze 100 Idealab companies and another 100 non-Idealab companies. He found the following factors to account for most of the difference between success and failure: 1) timing, 2) team, 3) big idea, 4) business model, and 5) funding.