Know Why It Failed

“Oh that, idea? We’ve done that before 5 years ago!  Let me save you some time.”

Being a leader is tough.  Not only do you have to pick a good idea, but you have to get the execution right.  It struck me the other day that many times when people move onto a new idea, org structure, whatever, they don’t have a clear picture of why the old one was not appropriate other than:

It was done by my predecessor.

There are a whole set of reasons why something fails, and only by getting the most important ones right can you succeed.

  • Wrong idea

  • Wrong rollout to org

  • Wrong message

  • Wrong funding

  • Wrong market

  • Wrong follow-on effort

  • Wrong time

  • Wrong leader

  • Wrong team

  • Wrong company

  • Wrong alignment between groups

  • Wrong contributor

  • Wrong process

  • Wrong metrics

  • Wrong price

  • Wrong goals

  • Wrong tweaks in response to feedback

There are many more than this. Which ones are most important to you?  To success of your effort?

Often, the  job of a leader is to take a failed idea – one that no one thinks will work – and with the right root cause analysis, tweak one or all of these and have it succeed.

Ever wonder what Jeff Bezos means when he says “Stubborn on vision, flexible on details?”  

This is It.

Rick Watson