As I’ve mentioned numerous times, one of the great things about my job is I get to interact with lots of smart, interesting people and organizations. But, odds would be that’s not always the case. Once in awhile, I find myself hearing about, or witnessing, a situation and I can’t help but be astonished, and not in a good way.
Inevitably, these situations — failed projects, bloated budgets, redundant portfolios, spiraling technical debt, sinking delivery rates, flat-lined morale, general stasis — can be attributed to a lack of discipline (business and/or engineering) augmented by a stunning lack of leadership. Yes, that sounds harsh, but these are difficult times, and hiding from the truth only makes matters worse.
Having (perhaps) recently been astonished, Rosabeth Moss Kanter’s recent post, Instant Success Takes Time, caught my attention this afternoon. Not because it describes a radical new management concept, but rather because it’s a good, case study backed, call to business basics — discipline, leadership and hard-work. [emphasis is mine]
““Instant success takes time” is one of my favorite sayings. New products, people, or ideas that appear to burst on the scene unheralded and soar to the top quickly have often been preceded by a long period of preparation, rehearsal, and trial-and-error experimentation.
One of the more mundane differences between perpetual winners and long-term losers among businesses, sports teams, and other organizations is that the winners simply work harder. As I learned from case studies and surveys for my book Confidence, winners are more likely to take the time to keep honing skills and testing ideas in preparation for change. That’s not too dramatic or glamorous, but it’s among the biggest differentiators.
In contrast, teams or organizations headed for losing streaks lurch from tactic to tactic without any apparent long-term direction. They lack discipline, do not always rely on facts before chasing fads, and panic under pressure.”
Check out the full post. Pass along as needed. I certainly will.