Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Visionary or Caretaker: The Importance of “Finishing”

The ability to “Finish” or “close” a project is beginning to create more separation between those organizations that understand how to execute and those that struggle to bring the resources to the table that are required to effectively deliver a well-designed and implemented project.

Let’s face it, companies and organizations are challenged with doing more with less as the fiscal realities of the financial crises affect the way we do business. As organizations have become leaner so too has their ability to implement programs and initiatives in a well thought out process. As a result, small to medium sized businesses and organizations that seek out and utilize partnerships rather than internal resources can benefit and compete but only if their partner organizations are integrated as a trusted partner in the process.

 One of the most common gaps in my opinion in this new culture of partnership is the ability to promote and communicate one’s ideas to a broad spectrum of stakeholders and audience verticals. Once thought to be the strength of modern business, it has become an idea that has gradually faded.  I believe that we are exposed to so many mediums today in so many forms and places; we assume somehow that our ideas and initiatives will take on a life of their own, like social media where a simple idea can become a world-wide phenomenon.

 Modern day organizations often overlook what was once the most important aspect of a project, promoting an idea to the internal and external audience through a well thought out strategy with clear objectives, defined audiences through marketing, promotions, advertising and public relations tools. Partnerships are an important way of extending an organization’s resources and taking advantage unique skill sets to bridge the “Finish” gap.

 It is surprising that very sophisticated leaders and administrators simply fail to take advantage of these opportunities and partnerships.  Often, decisions makers don’t understand the ramifications or they undervalue existing partnerships, or are too busy to invest in new partnerships to fill this gap. They certainly give the idea merit by conducting a thorough planning process but somehow the “Finish” is missing when it comes to implementation.  

 I should add that a good “Finish” can take a long time – perhaps several years depending on the complexity of the initiative and the objectives of the project. While some things have gotten easier some have gotten harder and it’s the “Finish” that now demands a sustained plan in the face of competing media channels, new social interaction and growing entertainment opportunities…while we were worrying about the economy, the playing field  has gotten much more crowded.   

 This is at the heart of many a wayward implementation process. Whether it’s a company seeking to institute a new culture,  a business selling a new product or an organization promoting protocols within an industry the “Finish” has just become your most important mission  It will determine for most leaders their legacy of success and it will help define them as visionaries or simply as caretakers.    




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