Some companies are like 8 year-old boys
I was teaching my 8 year-old son how to make a grilled-cheese sandwich on the week-end and realized that some companies do act like little children.
At home, we have a rule that the twins are not allowed to use the stove unless there is a parent around to supervise them. Our objective is to allow them to learn and experiment while we control some of the risks. So in line with our rule, my son asked if I could teach him to make a grilled-cheese sandwich.
After I explained the steps, he took out the ingredients – bread, butter, and Swiss cheese. He turned on the stove and warmed-up his pan. He then buttered the slices of bread and put them on the warm pan.
He turned to me and said “I’ll be right back. I want to bring in the house my rubber dinosaurs before the rain starts“. He dashed through the kitchen and out the patio door while I stood next to the stove. Two minutes passed and my son wasn’t back. I could turn over the bread so it wouldn’t burn but I realized this could be an opportunity for him to learn something.
I walked to the patio door to see why he wasn’t back in the house… The rubber dinosaurs were still on the patio table and my son was trying to pick up a caterpillar. Indeed, this was an opportunity to learn. I opened the door and told him “your bread is burning“…
Some companies act exactly the same way. They launch an important project and then get distracted by a cute project along the way. The distractions do not always need to be shinny objects for people to loose focus. Eventually, someone needs to remind them that the original project is about to go bad or worst, the company is about to loose some big business.
Sometimes, only the bread burns but in other circumstances the entire house can catch fire…