Discovery: 1st “D” for Leading Project Escalations

Ignorance is not bliss – it is oblivion” — Philip Wylie

Over the last ten years we’ve seen plenty of examples of senior executives who ignore bad news — until it turns into worse news.  Enron, Arthur Andersen, Bear Stearns, Yahoo, Tyco, the FBI, the CIA, the Catholic Church…

What you don’t know — and don’t even want to know — can and will hurt you.  So the question is: How well do you know your project?

On the “positive” side, projects are filled with high-achieving and performing technicians.  Many are used to solving complex problems, so there is a natural bias towards optimism that hides problems.  Per Chip Heath at Stanford Business School:

There’s a bias for optimism in humans and in organizations. Individuals don’t ever go looking for bad news, and we don’t like telling it to others. So bad news is unlikely to get to the people who can actually do something about it.

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One Response

  1. […] for sure.  It is critical to have no illusions about what lies ahead, especially in the Discovery (here and here) and Decision (here and here) parts of the leadership […]

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