Since then you have learned to be more cautious – to contain your enthusiasm about the latest “strategic project or initiative”. You have participated on too many committees, attended too many meetings or workshops and seen to many projects and initiatives “go quietly into the night.”
Besides you are a lot busier than you used to be. Your inbox is over-flowing and diary is full. Indeed, it often seems as if there just aren’t enough hours in the day! Another project or series of meetings is the very last thing you need!
If you are going to be engaged in a new project or initiative, you will want to make sure that it is the right one. You need to do your due diligence – to make sure that you are ‘backing the right horse’, so to speak.
Like any seasoned executive you are slow to commit. If you have to show up, you will do so with caution – reluctant to be saddled with additional tasks and responsibilities, or to attach your name to something that is yet unknown or uncertain.
You don’t want to tie your name to an initiative until you know that it has a chance of success – until you better understand the business case, the sponsor, the politics, the stakeholders, the risk of failure, and so on.
Here are just some of the questions you are likely to be asking yourself (see picture).
This is what is happening every day in organizations and it goes a long way to explain the challenges many organizations face in the execution of their strategic priorities. It is not the executives that are to blame, however. There is probably a wise response given the system/environment in which they operate. Until it is clear that the organization and the sponsors of its key strategic initiatives are fully committed, it makes sense to be skeptical.
Experts tell us that we will be increasingly defined by the projects and initiatives that we work upon. In the future of work our ‘project portfolio’ will matter more than our job description, title or role. However, adding a new project to an executives portfolio requires a calculated decision considering factors such as:
Having seen many initiatives ‘wither on the vine’ executives must cherry pick those projects and initiatives that will help rather than hinder their career. In determining what project or initiative to embrace, executives often take their lead from:
For sponsors looking to recruit and enroll executives in a new project the above list can be a useful tool.
If you want to energize and engage your executives in the pursuit of key projects and priorities Pitstop to Perform® can help.