Here’s A Wild Idea: Think Covert…

A few weeks ago I met with the CEO of an international NGO (Non-Government Organisation). The organisation was a year old, achieving promising early results and was generally on track.

…And yet, seemingly out of nowhere, the Board Chair was dissatisfied and was looking to pull the pin.


Well, this CEO had missed the ‘duality of WHY’ that exists within all endeavours. Let me explain quickly with a 2×2 quadrant.

When you’re driving a change, there are two key types of objectives that you should take care to identify. First – the overt, organisational goals (strategic KPIs, etc.). Second – the covert, personal goals of those funding the change (reputation increase, career moves, personal remuneration etc.).

Both should form part of your “Why are we doing this” discussion – allowing you to plan both into your definition of success.

Are you considering the covert, personal goals of your change?

To Ponder: Are You Measuring Success As ‘Things Done’?

In one of James Clear’s recent newsletters he suggested the following:

“One roadblock almost never ruins you. There might not be 1000 ways to accomplish something, but there is almost always more than one way. Know what you want. Be flexible about how to get there.” – James Clear

Yet when it comes to change – we seem to forget it. We make an (admittedly) logical plan then hold it as gospel from that point forward. The result of which clouds our judgement.

We stop asking ‘does this still make sense?’ and ‘are we achieving our why here?’ – and resort to asking ‘how are we tracking on planned progress?’ The result of which are decisions that assume you’re operating in a vacuum, and that you are no smarter today than you were yesterday.

Of course, both of those assumptions are incorrect.

How are you measuring and monitoring success?