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A stumbling block or a stepping stone?

“It’s not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” ~ Charles Darwin

Often, we are faced with tough and demanding circumstances at the workplace (and in personal lives as well). A mountain of constraints and bottlenecks. Sometimes, one might feel as if the Murphy's law was created only for you - Anything that can, could have, or will go wrong, is going wrong, all at once.

Last few weeks have been a reflection of such extremities for one of the improvement leads at one of my clients. We have been exchanging notes around our experiences towards transformation programs over a cuppa of coffee, glass (es) of beer - the project goals, risks to success, stakeholders, current state, improvement agenda et all.

One would wish the improvement programs follow the text-book : burning platform for change, senior leadership sponsorship, engaged process owners and subject matter experts / team members, appropriate incentives / dis-incentives in place to drive the "right" behaviors...

BUT, wake up - that's not the reality.

My colleague's program has been characterized by stakeholders having hidden agendas, process owners across different parts of the organizations operating in silos and not engaging in open dialogues to discuss issues / concerns, identifying solutions and working together towards a better future state, technology being seen as a panacea (should I be surprised!), and...

In my last conversation with him, while I empathized - I asked him what's he doing about it...And, what I heard back was uhhh...ahhh...What can I do!.

I just remembered and told him the age old cliche - "when the going gets tough, the tough get going".

And, then we had to stop short our conversation due to other prior commitments.

I am scheduled to continue the dialogue with my colleague over the next round of beer later today evening. I am wanting and hoping to do my best to make him see the current situation as an opportunity instead of an obstacle, a stepping stone instead of a stumbling block.

What have "you" done when faced with an adverse situation?

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