How do you arrive at the thing or things to focus on every day?
“Well, that happened.”
Which Tribe do you belong to?
I recently revisited my business plan (something I do about every 4 months…). My goal is to see (a) how/what I’m doing regarding how/what I THOUGHT I’d be doing, (b) note any changes, and (c) update the plan accordingly. This combined backward- and forward-cast of consideration reminded me of a post I made awhile back about the parallels of enterprise performance review processes and horse races. While that post focused on the willingness to engage in developing and enriching team members that are forced into a strictly hierarchical and ‘winner-takes-most’ structure, it made me consider the dynamism of the processes, products and services that entrepreneurs work with. We work in the middle of a whirlwind every day.
Image via Wikipedia
I have been thinking about a post by Tac Anderson on his NewCommBiz blog about making mistakes, crisis-based decision making and how we learn. It specifically got me thinking about organizations that learn and those that don’t really, or at least not very well (or easily).
Things move terribly fast in today’s marketplace and the halls of business. We blame it on the Internet, on the 24-hour news cycle, on our growing propensity for being “always on and connected” and on “everyone else.” There have been countless barrels of ink spilled on the importance of failure for learning, both as individuals and organizations. Even just thinking about how you learn personally will confront you with the first attempt at doing something, assessing how well that went, tweaking, trying again, etc.
So why do we not get it? I’m not saying we drive for failure (although that seems to be the direction of some I’ve noticed….), but, short of life-and-death, why do we not accept that failing is at least as important as not failing?
Image by Bohman via Flickr
Earlier this week I was fortunate enough to sit in on a quarterly meeting of some of the hardest working folks I know. My company calls them Product Planners. The difficulty of what they do is hidden by the simplicity of their title…if you’ve never worked in an enterprise that is tracking released products, fixing them as needed, and then planning new ones with the added uncertainty of forecasting their popularity, then you aren’t aware of the tricky dance these folks do. Years ago while watching one of my favorite Mystery Science Theater 3000 movies, I remember Crow T. Robot remarking, upon seeing a credit for someone tasked with Planning, “Oh, that’s what I want to do….I’ve always wanted to Plaaaaaan!”
I thought it was a bit odd too, at the time. Now I know better.
I was recently discussing the pros and cons of various personnel review and commitment systems/styles with a close colleague of mine. She was saying something like, “It’s just like a horse race. One year you put your all into the race and win. The next year you put just as much effort and work into the race as the year before, if not more, and nine others finish ahead of you.” The implication is that this gives the folks putting on the race the impetus to……what? Give last year’s horse sugar for running a great race? Trying the horse at different races? Retiring the horse to pasture?
It seems that the climate in many organizations implies a future involving a glue factory. Why is this?