“Just the facts, Ma’am”

The term iteration has become common within American companies: To communicate several or many times, back and forth, between two or more parties, in which information is exchanged, decisions made, activities (action items or more called simply actions) agreed to.

Merriam-Webster online defines iteration as a procedure in which repetition of a sequence of operations yields results successively closer to a desired result.

Americans iterate, some intensely so. It allows them to maintain flexibility, to ensure information flow, to discriminate between what is important and unimportant, to reduce risk. Like any strength, however, it can be inflationary: Too much communication, too little action.

Instead of front-loading an agreement with in-depth discussion about the details, Americans iterate.