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The art of Slow Planning

We live in a world of speed. Instant gratification. Overnight delivery from Amazon Prime. High speed rail links. Downloadable books.

For many years it looked as if food preparation would follow the same path. Boil in the bag Curry. Microwave rice. Oven-ready chips.

This is all very well, but along the way people realised that something was being lost in the process. Care, individuality, quality. We realised that ‘Consistent’ does not equate to ‘Quality’.

And the Slow Food movement was born. Today, interest in cooking has never been higher.

I would like to make a clarion call for the birth of Slow Planning. I would like to call for a slower, more detailed process.

Why do I hear IFA’s asking for shorter risk and fact find questionnaires? Why is the first meeting a ‘Fact Find’ meeting, not a ‘Getting to know each other’ meeting?

Slower does not mean inefficient. Slower does not mean more compliance (Please, no more compliance!)

Slower means taking the time to really understand the client. Not the hard facts but the underlying emotions, hopes dreams and fears. It means going at the pace the client is comfortable with – which may actually be fairly quick at times.

It means being comfortable that clients may need to be on ‘simmer’ for a while. It means that clients need to be able to give informed consent.

It may also mean that we know how to deliver something simple where needed – a decent sandwich – to deal with a short term problem, knowing that we can create a wonderful dinner when appropriate, built from the ground up, peeling the carrots ourselves.

When it comes to the preparation it’s about using tried and tested techniques. Having good quality – and proven – tools available, such as a favourite knife and saucepan. Having sound processes in the kitchen to keep our families safe. They all contribute to something that tastes good, looks good and does you good. And this need be no more expensive than any ‘Instant’ and processed product.

Speed is not everything. Slow is not always best. But we need to ignore the siren call to simply speed up everything. Boil in the bag risk profiling, fund selection and fact finding may be useful for a short term solution. They are unlikely to be good for our clients in the long term.

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