Is this why your project is stuck?

Last month, I wrote about uncertainty being the new normal in our world of work, and how we can embrace that uncertainty and use it as a way to move forward.

So many of my clients are dealing with uncertainty on a daily basis—and it’s more prevalent now than I’ve ever known it to be. But they’re so close to it they don’t always see it for what it is. All they know is they’ve identified a problem and see marketing as the cure. But they need someone who will do more than blindly fill that prescription. Before anything else, they need an accurate diagnosis.  

how companies get it wrong

  • Small to mid-size organizations are often filled with people who wear many hats. They are so bogged down in the day-to-day of keeping all of the wheels turning, there is little opportunity to get off the merry-go-round and examine the big picture.
  • Large organizations can be prone to settling into siloed teams and departments. They don’t know what each other is doing, resulting in duplicate, conflicting or simply wasted efforts.
  • Organizations of all sizes may want something different, but many times have no strategy to make it happen. Or when they do, their action plan is based on hunches or gut feelings with no solid data to back it up.
  • At the other end of the spectrum are the organizations that have so MUCH information they can’t process it. They struggle to identify what is actionable, often seek even more information, and ultimately, fail to act.
  • And sometimes an organization becomes stymied with indecision because people may be so emotionally, financially or politically invested in a specific course of action that they need an outside perspective from a third party who can be more objective.  

here’s a real-life example

A new client is unhappy with their current online presence. They hate their website, and their customers hate it, too. The client comes with a request for a (purely aesthetic) facelift, thinking it will solve their problem. After asking some basic questions about the objectives for the redesign, however, it quickly became clear there was no consensus on the client side concerning what they wanted to achieve. No one really had any idea what their goals were for the site, who their audience was, or what was important to those very important people. The real problem had little to do with what the website looked like, and everything to do with the fact that there was no strategy to inform what should be on the site.

how to get it right

It’s oh-so-tempting to jump in and start “fixing” things before we know what is truly broken. This is usually because the problem has been allowed to fester unchecked for too long, and now the pressure is on to produce different results. Trust me, though—the wrong solution applied to the wrong problem is not going to fix anything.

Getting the right diagnosis involves talking to someone (like me) who knows what questions to ask, listens closely to your responses, recognizes when things don’t quite add up, and dives deeper to get to the heart of the problem. My goal is to understand what’s really going on in your organization so I can prescribe the right solution, rather than blindly accepting your self-diagnosis as a scope of work.

Here’s the benefit:

  1. It forces you out of the habit trap (doing the same thing while expecting different results).
  2. It helps identify and remove obstacles that leave organizations stuck in stalled projects.
  3. It forces you out of analysis paralysis, providing the additional information and confidence that is often needed to take action.

If any of this rings true and you’re feeling stuck, need an outside perspective, or want a second opinion on your self-diagnosis, let’s talk! Together we can identify the right solution and get you moving forward again.

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