The existentialist philosopher, Jean-Paul Sartre, once observed that, “Hell is other people.” He wasn’t quite right. Hell is other people, in a closed room, looking to assign blame for yet another missed deadline.
The problem is not that project participants are innately misanthropic. In fact, we believe they naturally find satisfaction in productive collaboration. The real problem is that they cannot collaborate effectively because they have no common means for doing so.
• They can’t see where the project is, what its status may be.
• They can’t see, among the competing claims to their time, what the priority is – and what they should work on next.
• They can’t see how they might be able to help each other – and therefore, themselves –apply their energies to the most urgent work.
• Instead, teams focus on what they can see, the work that didn’t get done. As a result, teams defend themselves in tedious meetings that look backward into the painful past, rather than looking forward into a productive future.
Ten minutes to clarity…
What if, instead of being imprisoned in a room for an hour, dodging or directing blame, you could spend just ten minutes a day collaborating on crystal-clear next steps?
You can. All you need is a hallway, a whiteboard and some smart thinking.
This is chapter two of our newest ebook, Visualizing Projects. Do you want to learn more? Download the full ebook here.
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