“There ain’t no rules around here! We’re trying to accomplish something!”
– Thomas Edison, inventor
How often have you noticed that many projects take quite a bit longer to complete than expected? Sometimes these efforts are thwarted by organizational complexity and misalignment and never see the light of day.
I fully support the use of appropriate systems and procedures when there is alignment among the group. This is often not the case, however, and issues remain unresolved due to the underlying disagreements.
Next time you are part of a committee, task force or project team that’s having difficulty getting something across the goal line, try using the following technique:
Step #1: Ask, “What do you think we should be doing differently, that would work better?”
Step #2: Try on the ideas of others to see if you can align with their suggestions.
Step #3: If for some reason you don’t align with their suggestions, make a counter-proposal and start again.
This iterative process will have the group challenge out-dated or dysfunctional rules – and hopefully get it back on the road to greater accomplishment.