The Freedom of Doing It Wrong
No, not on purpose. You’re not setting out to do it wrong. You’re setting out to do the best thing you can, just like always, except you’re just not going to obsess about it in one huge departmental group grope to wring every last problem out before you even start.
Instead, you take your best shot at it. You do it wrong, quickly. You know that it will be wrong—but by the way, many of those projects you obsessed over were wrong, too. Oh, a few were really good, but most of them missed the mark, at least somewhat. A few were wildly off, despite all those meetings.
Now, if this was the end of the advice, you’d have learned something. You’d probably do projects that weren’t quite as good as the ones you used to do, but you’d do them faster and cheaper, which would be good. But there’s more.
If you know that you’re doing the project wrong—you just know it—then you will undoubtedly do the project a bit differently than if everyone sat around arguing until they reached consensus. Why? Because it is really embarrassing to tell your execs that this project that you planned for six months and that everyone agreed to might be wrong. It could miss the mark. Despite how much we spent, and all the smart people who worked on it, and how hard everyone worked, we might lay an egg. You can’t get people to work that hard for that long and defend the plan that many times unless they’ve talked themselves into it. Your team really has convinced itself that this will work.
But if you haven’t spent all your time convincing each other how smart you are, if you are in fact sure that this project will miss the mark in some ways—perhaps major ways—then you will take a different approach. Instead of indulging in the groupthink that everything will be OK, you will instead spend your time thinking about what might go wrong. And asking yourself, “And if that goes wrong, what will we do about it?”
What do you do after you’ve done it wrong? Click NEXT to find out.