Stephen Lynch, COO of Results.com offers 5 Warning Signs that Predict Failure.
- Failure to Confront Reality
- Lack of Trust
- Power Politics
- Wrong People on the Bus
- Lack of an Effective System of Execution. This one makes me laugh...darkly. It says to me that...even if you confronted reality, had built a solid foundation of trust, had the right people on the right bus....if you can't execute effectively, well, what's the point? You can't execute.
As I look back at this list I see that the presence of even one of these items will likely lead to failure. That's why failure rates for the business projects here in the US start at 60+% and range as high as 90%.
As we're watching the World Series, let's use a baseball metaphor. For business success you have to bat 1.000. You cannot let even one of these exist. Otherwise, you strikeout.
Stephen's post references the stat that 80% of your employees predict those failure. What's that tell you? It tells me that there's one tactic so simple and so obvious it's akin to stealing the pitcher's signal in a slow-pitch softball game:
- Talk to your employees. Ask them. They know.
What do they know? They know they're not engaged. They know their businesses rarely ask their opinion.
Talking with your employees, listening to your employees, asking their opinions, is the first step to:
- Confronting reality
- Building trust
- Eliminating power politics
- Getting the right people on the right bus.
- And inspiring their participation to build a system of execution that's effective.
It's easy to write a blog post that shares the obvious. If your employees are right 80% of the time, why not ask their opinion. The trick is how to have those conversations with AND among your employees.
I bet your shoulders hunched up in tension just thinking about how those conversations would take place where you work now. (My neck's already tightening down. Any more and I'm a turtle looking for safety...)
On the other hand, consider the conversations at your workplace if oh, say, 50% of your projects succeeded/failed. Half-empty, half-full is a lot better than say...80/20 failure/success ratio.
Like that transition from 80/20 to 50/50, I'm building a little momentum, getting excited thinking about the future where 50% of the projects meet with success....what if, ok, what if...80% of your projects succeeded? Hmmmm?
What would those conversations be like where you work?
Now, tell me....with your shoulders hunched (and I'm peeping out from turtle shell, too) is it worth the risk to confront your employees and their reality and ask their opinion?
- Can this going to work?
- How can we reach this goal?&
- Who else do we need on this bus?
- Can we execute this plan in this timeframe.
That's the first step to confronting reality. Your employees' reality.