When you’re working on a new initiative, it is crucial to change course (if necessary) as early as possible. At an early stage, you’ve invested limited people, time, and money into the initiative, and so it’s more likely that there are resources available to commit to a new direction. You’ve also given yourself — as the initiative leader — an opportunity to shape the narrative to your advantage. You can share a pivot (or stop) story easily touted — and recognized — as efficient, pragmatic, and agile.
At later stages, everything changes. You may have worked very hard to derisk the chosen path, only to stumble upon something that makes clear a change of course is required. You may have worked very hard — and spent political capital — to convince others in your organization that “they should believe” along the way. Now you’ll get second-guessed. The most supportive may even say “I get it, but why didn’t you figure this out earlier?” It will become so hard to sell a positive narrative that you — like many innovation leaders before you — may simply try to find a way to keep things quiet, hoping that you can eventually find some measure of success or, at least, find somewhere else to place the blame.
The earlier you uncover hidden concerns and surface stakeholder misalignment, the earlier you can pivot pragmatically sharing a positive narrative along the way. And, if a later stage pivot or stop becomes unavoidable, the spotlight won’t be solely on you, because innovation must be a “collective endeavor.”
How do you ensure that projects pivot as early as possible? To learn more about how Derisk can help you, grab some time here.