Technology & Business Leader Jinny Uppal on the Mistake of Going Too Fast — “In/Action”

Technology & Business Leader Jinny Uppal on the Mistake of Going Too Fast — “In/Action”

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My guest for Episode #139 of the My Favorite Mistake podcast is Jinny Uppal, the author of the new book IN/ACTION: Rethinking the Path to Results.

Jinny is no stranger to driving contrary and innovative thinking. Uppal’s 20+ years of experience driving transformational growth by challenging existing norms in business is key to her success working with Fortune 500 telecom, eCommerce, and retail companies. 

She is a technology and business leader with over 20 years’ experience driving transformative growth at Fortune 500 North American companies.

Most recently, she was Vice President of Strategy at a $12B North American retailer, driving transformative growth through new category launches and innovative store experiences

Jinny grew up in Mumbai and is a graduate of Florida International University and Harvard Business School. She has been a practitioner of Vedic and Buddhist meditation and breathwork since 2008. 

In her new book, IN/ACTION: Rethinking the Path to Results, published by New Degree Press, Jinny Uppal explores the downside of the prevalent cultural bias for action even when it’s unnecessary or counter-productive. Capturing insights into the benefits of reflective thinking and strategic inaction, author Jinny Uppal presents a less stressful and more efficient way of achieving more by “doing” less. 

In today's episode, Jinny shares her “favorite mistake” story about taking action too quickly, when she decided to re-use some technology from another part of her company… but she had to give up after it didn't work out. That inspired her study of what happens when we rush to action.

We also talk about questions and topics including:

  • What is “breathwork”?
  • What are some mistakes that are made when we’re driven to action?
  • Example – Ron Johnson as CEO of JC Penney (read my blog post about this)
  • Advice: “let it simmer for a few days…”
  • Understanding cause and effect is very important… what types of errors do humans make in understanding (or misunderstanding) cause and effect relationships… does that drive the wrong actions?
  • Causes of bias to action problems?? Overconfidence
  • Overconfident — so convinced that you dismiss input
  • Is “bias for action” mainly a Western phenomenon?
  • Toyota expression — “go slow to go fast” — your reaction to that?
  • Did you do a prototype for your book?
  • Tell us the story behind the book… what inspired you?

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Quotes:

"[My favorite mistake] happened kind of early in my career. So those are the best mistakes, right? You're not going to forget that in a hurry."
"When you are overconfident? When you stop taking input because you're so convinced. When you're confident you take input, you might still dismiss it after careful deliberation..."
"People who are very ambitious, very driven, very bold, perhaps are more of a risk for a bias for irrational action. Action bias is a behavioral tendency. It's not a disorder, it's not an affliction. You can always arrest that tendency by being thoughtful."


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Automated Transcript (Likely Contains Mistakes)


Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. His latest book is Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. He also published the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus. He is also a Senior Advisor and Director of Strategic Marketing with the healthcare advisory firm, Value Capture.