Today I was in a meeting where a huge obstacle nearly crashed the project. Stakeholders from different departments reacted strongly to the project plan because there were several undesirable characteristics. But one issue stood out as the most significant…and the room began to focus on it.
As we explored the issue, I thought I saw a potential solution. It wasn’t ideal, but it would work. However, the room wasn’t ready to hear it. They were too focused on the obstacle.
The obstacle was big…but it wasn’t well understood. Everyone could see the negative impact, but they couldn’t weigh out the consequences of each solution. So, they were tossing out idea after idea that simply made the situation more and more complicated.
I had to wait until they were out of ideas before they were willing to honestly consider a solution that had its own negative consequences. In order for the team to be willing to accept something less than ideal, they have to exhaust themselves discovering that ideal doesn’t exist.
When you clearly see a way around a major obstacle, do you rush to tell everyone your great idea…or can you sit quietly until they are ready to listen?
Thanks for listening.