No one likes problems. We either try and resolve them or we try to avoid them. We avoid them by doing nothing or by simply ignoring they exist hoping they will go away. Sometimes ignoring a problem is a good strategy as not all problems need or deserve our energies to resolve. However, when we decide to work on resolving a problem how we proceed is important to achieving an outcome. Too many times I have seen organizations and individuals focus on the process instead of the desired results. In other words, they spend more time talking about the problem, talking about the problem-solving process and little to no time about executing the solutions to the problems they are trying to fix. This process focus isn’t problem-solving.
Like it or not we all can find ourselves leading a workplace project. Our ability to successfully execute Project Management is key to the success of our businesses. As a result, we must understand what it takes to successfully manage a project. By success, I mean not only completing the project on time and within the budget but also achieve or exceed the expected results. Given that an estimated 80% of our work time is spent on projects the development of the necessary skills to do that is important to our total success as leaders.
How can this be? How can anyone be afraid of being successful? Yet it happens and it is more common than you may think. The Fear of Success that resides in many can not only disrupt your personal life, in business, it can disrupt your career and possibly even end it.
I’m doing everything I can to sabotage my career. It’s a little thing called “fear of success”. – Jon Stewart
Blasphemy! Heresy! Burn Him! Yup, I wrote that. Your Lean initiative will most likely fail. A study released by the Lean Institute conducted by Industry Week in 2007 found that only 2 percent of companies that have a lean program achieved their anticipated results. Further, more recent follow-up studies have shown that few of those sustained their gains initially made. Much can be made of that statement and when you consider that more recent studies show at best that only half of Lean initiatives achieve any measure of success at best (some show as little as 5% success) you have to wonder what all of the excitement is about.
We like the negative. Some of us even embrace it. Many of us can remember the story of Chicken Little. For those not familiar, Chicken Little had something fall from the sky, hitting him in the head. He immediately concluded “The Sky Is Falling” and proceeded to warn everyone with a great deal of enthusiasm that this was happening.
In business, we tend to do this too. A bad sales month means the business is failing, error and waste occurring as we provide product or service means we are so bad at what we do that the business will fail. Negativity begets more negativity until we find ourselves afraid to make any decision or do much of anything else at work except clock in and clock out. (Careful, the clock might be poorly wired and you could get electrocuted)