Archive for July, 2012

The Secret Formula to GSD

Many people know it in different ways, but for the purposes of this write up I am defining GSD as Getting Stuff Done. So how do you get stuff done today when there is a process, regulation, approval, etc, for everything? Over and over I have found one common formula that allows you to GSD while still working within some boundaries: Data + Pilots + Speaking Up About Being Wrong.

The first two items are no brainers. From start up to a Fortune 500 company, you need data to support your ideas and a pilot to prove that they work. These are the two things that most people spend their time working on with a focus of proving their theory right. We all want to be the one that thinks up the program or product that makes millions. What many do not realize is it doesn’t usually happen on the first try.

The bigger the stuff you want to accomplish, the more you need to focus on the third part of the equation – speaking up about being wrong. Why? Because it is unlikely you will get it on the first try, so letting others know that you are focused on getting the “right” stuff done is very important. It is rare to hear from people about things that do not work, so when you do hear it, people take note – especially when it is something they are in charge of completing.

If someone knows they can count on you to do the right thing, regardless of the amount of work it causes you, then you have shown them a sense of accountability. It is interesting to see how many people become interested when you involve them in understanding the failure vs just highlighting the success. Because you have shown you are accountable, people become open to adding ideas, providing support, and ultimately becoming an ally. As you get closer to getting the “right” stuff done, your allies become more invested and more supportive. This snowballs into more people working with you to GSD and who wouldn’t want that?

So what should you take from this? Know that those people who get data and try things are easy to come by. Those that experiment and are vocal about failures are the ones that are hard to find. They are resilient and know that being wrong is part of the job. Although we all strive to GSD, those who are truly successful ensure it is the right stuff and bring others along for the ride.


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