"Quality questions create a quality life. Successful people ask better questions, & as a result, they get better answers." ~Tony Robbins
"To succeed, one must be creative and persistent." ~John H. Johnson
When we try to make improvements or implement a new process there will be times where we discover that there are certain obstacles that legitimately prohibit us from moving forward. In many instances that can mistakenly create a perpetual roadblock where we don’t reassess the obstacles in the future. Instead we say, “Well we tried that before and it won’t work.” But in this ever changing business environment that is often not the case. I am positive that there have been a number of changes in your organization, and there’s a good chance that some of those affect those obstacles you ran into before.
In this environment, creative solutions are almost as important as persistence. With technology and organizational design we are afforded more ways to reach our goals than ever before. So think back to your last few projects or initiatives that stopped because of some sort of obstacle and instead of dismissing it out of hand, ask yourself what has changed that could impact the successful completion? A couple of the common complaints:
“We don’t have the resources”
- No Experience – Have you learned new things since you attempted the task last? Have any of your team members gained the requisite experience? Are there better resources for you to learn from? Have you brought on new team members?
- No Time – Are some of the required processes quicker now? As you have accomplished other things is this now a greater priority? The experience and wisdom you have gained since you attempted it last should at least give you a bit more time to work on it.
- No Money – Has the anticipated return on investment changed? Are there cheaper tools that you can use? Can you leverage some of the things you have spent money on in the interim for this project as well?
“We’ve always done it THIS way”
New People – New people bring new experiences, new strengths and new ideas. Just like a sports team that has certain strengths and weaknesses in the overall team play based on the players on the field, so does your organization. This creates the need and/or opportunity to do things differently.
New Tools – Computers get faster and cheaper. Another department orders a program or machine you can share. Something totally brand new hits the market. Any of these can change an obstacle into a non-issue. Keep looking for them.
New Market – It may be that your entire customer market has shifted or that you’ve opened up a new one. Wholesale and retail, new geographical markets, or a new customer demographic. Any of these can highlight the need to change or open up opportunities for your operation to shine.
You are almost assuredly better prepared to tackle these things today than you ever have been. One of the sayings I try to keep in mind is that “you will get further, faster, if you start today.” Can you get halfway there and learn along the way to get further? If the obstacles that occurred before are taken away, then you can now create the momentum to reach toward the finish line on this project.
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