Blaming people

It’s easy to blame it on people.

They’re not fast enough.

They’re not good enough.

They can’t sell.

They don’t know what they are doing.

They are a wrong fit.

They don’t know how to take criticism.

But when that happens all the time, it’s likely that the problem is in the system.

Do you onboard people well enough?

Do they know what is expected of them?

Do you talk to them and listen?

Do you give them space and freedom to operate?

Do you say when things are not working?

That’s much more difficult to fix. And if you don’t do that, you’ll keep blaming it on people.

Bureaucratic mindset

Bureaucracy is there mainly because somebody wants to save their ass.

Perhaps it’s because they don’t want to take a chance, or because they feel the risk is too high, or because they prefer not to be bothered rethinking a process that has worked once, or because they are disturbed by the chaos that different opinions and ways would bring about, or because nobody has ever done it before.

Bureaucracy puts an end to all that and it protects somebody’s ass. It’s infuriating, unnerving, impossible to understand. But it’s safe.

Bureaucracy is inevitable in many aspects of life, but a bureaucratic mindset can sneak in places where it should probably not be.

Like a team, or a project that aims at being innovative.

That’s what you need to be careful about.

Consulting

If you are going to call a consultant in to help with one area of the business, you should involve those whose work is going to be impacted by the consultant’s work, at least for:

  • Defining the scope of the consultant work
  • Selecting the consultant
  • Onboarding the consultant
  • Working with the consultant

It still puzzles me how many companies only require for management and leadership team to be involved, every step of the way. And how they expect to get long term outcomes from the investment.

Talking about it

If you have something you care about – an idea, some work you have done, a job, a project, a new product -, it’s fair for you to assume that nobody else will get it. And it’s your responsibility to explain it, sell it, evangelize it, adjust it, combine it, market it.

That means two things.

First, that we can’t assume that we will hit the mass on day 1. Overnight success is a hoax, but you know that already.

Second, and most importantly for this post, that your role very soon gets much more complex. Because if you want to buy people into whatever you are doing (that you care about), you need to spend a large amount of your time talking about it.

And I guess that the bad news is that nothing is self-evidently great.

And the good one is that everything can be.

As soon as possible

As soon as possible is the shortest way to failure.

Even when it comes from you (for you).

Even when it’s about something important.

Even when everybody else has already done it.

As soon as possible is a great way to impress an urgency in somebody’s mind for a very short time. And then make everybody forget about it, often even before the job is done.

That’s not why you are here.