Friday, September 12, 2008

Is it the Environment or the Actions which Make You Successful?

If you want something to be successful, do you create the environment or pull the trigger? If you are going to have a successful project, the correct environment needs to be created. Pulling the trigger is nice and that is what people will notice, but success depends upon preparation. That preparation is rarely noticed. The most aggressive actions in the wrong environment end up looking silly.

Think about it this way, do forest fires occur when someone carelessly throws away a match? Well maybe. If you throw away a lit match in a green forest with rain falling all around you, it's very unlikely a forest fire will result. If it is in the middle of a heat wave with the grass burnt brown and hot Santa Ana winds blowing at night, a roaring forest fire may result. What is critical is the environmental conditions in which the match was thrown.

It's the old line about the straw that broke the camels back. Straw is essentially weightless, but under the right conditions, it can wreck havoc. Maybe those conditions are an overloaded camel or some other environmental situation.

If you want tremendous results, look at the environment, the necessary preparation to succeed within that environment, get the preparations underway and then at the right time, pull the trigger.


Anonymous said...

Preparation for Project success…now there's an idea that has wings!

I have been on numerous projects and the preparation stage was the most critical. I have found that aligning (hey isn't that your first name) project goals with design, resources, targets, etc is usually underestimated and once the project gets going, there is no turning back. So if your preparation was weak, you'll pay the price in unexpected delays and wrong assumptions, which means more time and money being spent than projected and budgeted.

Thanks for the reminder.

Andrew Meyer said...


I'm sure you would quickly align most projects you were on. I just wish you'd align a few more posts on your blog.