While this is likely to come across as controversial, I’m going to say it anyway: If you care most about key performance indicators, then you likely don’t care about what matters most. And that’s a challenge. In my view, it’s a challenge of terminology, of ideology and of narrow-minded thinking masquerading as holistic solution. But semantics are important. And the words you use say a lot about what you value.
I had a meeting with a prospective client the other day. The opportunity was to provide some training and facilitation with their executive team to help prepare them for the implementation of a new set of organizational project management practices. To anyone that knows me, this certainly has the prospect of being something of interest. […]
Process is important. It provides useful and relevant guidance on how to get things done. And yet process can also be a crutch, particularly when we presume the real world works exactly as the process prescribes. For process to be useful, then, we need to rethink how we relate to process.
Language is critical. Navigating change involves creating language. At the same time the language that we use gets in the way. The words we choose to communicate our message are essential to our ability to create meaning. But we don’t always do a good job in exercising choice. We obfuscate and we obstruct. We choose obscure and complicated words because we think they sound good. In doing so, we undermine meaning. And we do so at our peril.
Words have power. When we create change—and when we build processes—words become particularly important. Not for how we sell the process (although that’s also significant), but for how we define and think about the process itself. Taking the time to get words right is some of the most meaningful work we do in managing change.
There is a subset of the population that is in love with the idea of “best practices.” It is incredibly appealing to believe that there is one right way of doing things. Simply calling something “best practice” is to implicitly make it unassailable. And yet how we think about best practices says a lot more about the person that it does about the practice.