The Tyranny of Doing It Right
How many times have you sat in a conference room, sifting every last detail of the proposal? And how many times have you spent hours (or weeks) building consensus? Oh, and how many times must an executive approve before they call it a plan? The answer, my friend, is not blowing in the wind. But I bet it is blowing your budget. And draining your profits. And frustrating everyone no end.
What causes seemingly sane people to work this hard to get every last thing right before trying something new? Many reasons are possible, but two dysfunctional corporate cultures head the list.
In some corporate cultures, the herd mentality rides supreme. “Don’t attract undue attention.” “Be a team player.” Yes, the competition picks off another member of your herd every day, but the herd survives by sticking together.
In other corporate cultures, whenever a project fails, the “blame hunt” begins. Someone must be scapegoated. If you work at a place where people get fired for making mistakes, but no one gets fired for bumbling along with the status quo, it’s no wonder you spend hour after hour in that conference room. It had better be right, whatever you do. And, the more people in the conference room, the less likely you will be the one blamed if it all goes wrong. So you can hide in the herd at the same time that you tirelessly go over the plan one more time for any “showstoppers.”
Your company may even suffer from both of these cultures. And, the bigger the crowd, the safer you’ll feel, which is why some big companies can be so conformist. Any company can break out of this mold—yours can, too. But it has to start with you. Fight the fears that stop you from trying something or from being different. There’s a better way.
Up NEXT, do it wrong quickly!