Beware the Self Fulfillling Prophecy

There’s a classic story of the project lead who scheduled a Go / No-Go meeting for one of their project’s early stages – without sending pre-reading material; no review of project deliverables. The reason given? “The business never takes ownership, they don’t want to see the details. They see it all as needless details and IT bureaucracy”. The punch line, of course, was that the meeting got delayed a few days when two of the steering committee members asked for a detailed review.

  • Don’t assume the worst. It’s unprofessional, plus you are enabling “bad behavior” and / or setting up a self-fulfilling prophecy. You have to go wildly in the other direction! Have project participants, stakeholders, domain experts, and steering committee members prove it to you, every single time, that they do not want input. Heaven forbid that they actually do have an interest; if you don’t give them the opportunity, you look dumb for not facilitating it. Plus, this aggressive pull for participation reinforces the idea that we want them to take ownership, that when we ask for approval and “signoff”, we are serious.
  • Always give folks material to review before any meeting, at least a day in advance. Also, and especially if there is any chance that folks might not be on the same page – absolutely go and pre-sell your ideas, and/or prime the pump so the participants know esxaclty what the meeting is about.

This Post Has 0 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related Articles

An Author’s Journey – The Editor’s Harsh Bright Light

Second in a series of articles on the creation of Don’t Think So Much. Exposing yourself to the unbiased eye of your editor will be a humbling, but super valuable, experience.
read more

Fighting over Amber Boxes

Change is a natural part of the Digital Transformation process and nothing to worry about – as long as you don’t get too caught up in the drama of your Preferred Point of View.
read more

James MacLennan

... is the Managing Partner at Maker Turtle LLC, a digital consultancy focused on creating value in ways that align with your strategy and drive engagement with employees, customers, and stakeholders. He is an active creator, providing thought leadership through on-line & print publications, and public speaking / keynotes.