Many if us have been involved in ‘mission critical’ initiatives that will become game changers if they succeed and, as well, if they fail.
Size and scope are not the differentiators here. ‘Mission critical’ can include personal projects that involve friends, family or others within your circle of influence like a relocation, an acquisition, an event or a change in direction.
In the corporate world, we see these types of projects everyday – starting, finishing or in process.
In both cases, and in most cases, the critical factor for success is the people. Get them onside and keep them onside and your chances of success are far better than otherwise.
1-800-Got-Junk is a great Canadian success story from the dream and efforts of Brian Scudamore. He contributed a great article to the Globe and Mail Leadership Lab back in August, 2017 wherein he offered 5 steps to get people on board with big initiatives:
- Have a clearly defined strategy
Know where you are going and why you are going there. People need to see the goals and objectives and more importantly, they need to know the plan – what it will take to make it happen. A disconnect here is a clear path to failure at any time within the project.
- Prove it’s working – then keep on proving it
Find small wins and make sure everyone hears about them. Keep up the good news and everyone will feel good about what they are doing. Success breeds happiness.
- Continuous communication and training are key
Not much to add here. Communicate, communicate and communicate some more.
- Be patient – change takes time
Many people do not like change and you should know this. It takes time to implement these types of projects but more time to see them take hold. Yes, patience pays off.
- Don’t listen to doubters
There will always be doubters in the wings trying to throw obstacles in your way and offering the ever so helpful warnings of failure. Mr. Scudamore suggests you ignore them. Sorry, but you and I know that it is impossible and in some cases, not good advice. Just be careful about who and what you listen to. Some of this negative contribution can actually be very helpful. A lot more can be very counter productive. Be selective.
Says Scudamore “Rolling out a new idea is tricky in any organization. But you can avoid major headaches as long as you have a plan and involve your people in the process.”