Bite Off Only What You Can Chew
It's happened to all of us.
We start on a change program, get excited about the possibilities and the agenda we've laid out. We foresee the change we need to create and what it's going to take for us to get there. And it's awesome.
But driving this change - as we expect - requires a lot of work. Many special projects and tasks that have to get done. (All while we're juggling our regular day job.)
So in the throes of this excitement, it becomes tempting to go full throttle. It's tempting to pile on the projects, to be holistic in our view of the situation and what needs to happen to get us to where we want to go.
This is natural and normal. But it can also be misguided.
What happens is that we take on too much, we bite off more than we can chew. We don't have the resources (time, talent, money) to get all of these initiatives done. We spread ourselves thin, and instead of getting a few things done well, everything is done partially. Instead of turning the dial to 11, we turn it to 5 or 6. Good, but not great.
We need to take a step back. The important thing to remember is figure out what is mission critical and get those activities done - and done well. What are the big ticket activities? Which ones get us 80% of the results we need? Which ones bear the brunt (so to speak) of the transformation we are looking to achieve?
Not the perfect solution, but the most practical and impactful, with the time and resources we have. Because we can always refine more later.
Note that I'm not suggesting we not set ambitious goals, we should be aggressive, provocative and change oriented. We should push the envelope on what we think we can do. Change the game. I'm simply suggesting we not set too many ambitious goals at once, especially when we know what we're working with. Let's pick one or two that will move the needle and go make it happen.
Because it's better to get results and drive imperfect change, than to stay static in the impossible pursuit of 'perfect' change.