I’ve been intrigued lately with the topic of why things fail. Failure is good for learning lessons, but for projects we really want to win, how can we avoid it?
Keep your goal at the forefront of planning.
Marty reminded us recently of this thought-provoking excerpt from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland:
Alice asks, “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?” “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat. “I don’t much care where–” said Alice. “Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat. “–so long as I get SOMEWHERE,” Alice added as an explanation. “Oh, you’re sure to do that,” said the Cat, “if you only walk long enough.”
Having a vision of where we ultimately want to be is crucial. If we don’t have a destination in mind, how are we going to get there?
Remember the human element.
Sometimes we forget that we are dealing with people – people who may have different goals than us and who come from different backgrounds and experiences. What if we start to: incorporate change management when kicking off a new project; create extra clear messaging to our audience; be more authentic during tough conversations; and teach soft skills to others who may not be as experienced.
We can’t forget about whoever it is we’re dealing with, and when we put emphasis on interacting harmoniously with others, we are more successful.
Communicate appropriately depending on the situation.
As I’ve continued to grow in my career, I’ve learned there is a fine balance of communication. Lacking or excessive communication can be bad news.
Too little: We’ve all been here – failure because of too little communication. Make goals clear to those that matter, share how you are going to help the project succeed, and explain any expectations upfront.
Too much: Sometimes we over-communicate when we need to let other teammates figure it out on their own. People aren’t going to grow if you don’t give them the room do so.
Next time you are tackling a big project, consider these three things. When you do, you will win!
Until next time…we are Advoco, make every minute count.
About Mary: Mary Devine is our Director of Marketing and Events and the Queen of Connect. Affectionately referred to as “Make it Happen Mary,” she's been around since the beginning of Connect—making things happen! Whether it's planning exciting surprises for Connect attendees or making sure our speakers stay on track (most of the time!) we're so happy to have Mary as our Connect guru. If you have a question for Mary, please send her an email.