New organizations and new projects are so crisp.
Things happen with alacrity. Decisions get made. Stuff gets done.
Then, over time, things get soggy. They slow down. Decisions aren’t so black and white any more.
Here are some things that happen:
1. Every initiative, post launch, still has a tail of activity associated with it. Launch enough things and over time, that tail gets bigger and bigger.
2. Most projects either succeed or fail. Successful projects raise the stakes, because the team doesn’t want to blow it. There are more people watching, more dollars at stake, things matter more. So things inevitably get more review, more analysis and slow down. Projects that fail sap the confidence of the group. They want to be extra sure that they’re right this time, so, ironically, they slow down and end up sabotaging the new work.
3. The paper isn’t blank any more. Which means that new decisions often mean overturning old decisions, which means you need to acknowledge that it didn’t used to be as good as it was.
4. And the biggest thing is that there is a status quo. Something to compare everything to.
I’m not sure you can eliminate any of these issues. But, you can realize that they’re there. And you can be really strict about priorities and deadlines… it’s so easy to let things slip, rather than confronting the fact that you’re stuck and probably afraid. Speak up, call it out… and ship!