In a previous post, I talked about the saying “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.” In business, no matter how well you craft a solution, if it’s not what the end-user wants, they’re not going to be too keen on using it.
Now, having said that, imagine you’re on the other side of this equation. You’re the horse (sorry) and you’re being asked to drink the water so thoughtfully provided to you.
The programmer you’ve been working with invites you to come down to see the fruits of his labor. You’re excited, he’s excited … even his Dilbert poster looks excited.
“You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.” An old saying and one you’ve probably heard many times before, but have you ever thought about it in a business context?
Over the years, my team has had a lot of success implementing new processes and taking advantage of technology to improve our company’s procedures. Unfortunately, we’ve also had situations where we’ve created solutions that have missed the mark. These misses can be very close (such as when an end-user just wanted us to move the location of a button), or so far away that it seems we’ve missed the target entirely (giving the user a “what were they thinking?” feeling).
It’s only been a few days since you made them, but how are you doing on those New Year’s resolutions? Is your enthusiasm already starting to wane? Don’t feel bad. Some 75% of people who make resolutions on January 1 fail to keep them. And I have a good hunch many of those people set themselves up for failure without even realizing it. How? By setting goals that are too broad, unrealistic and—in general—impossible to reach.
Let’s take a look at your list of resolutions and see if a little tweaking could make it more likely you’re among those 25% who succeed:
What are the three most powerful words in the English language? No, I’m not pitching the newest Kate Hudson movie. I’m talking about one of the boldest phrases you can ever utter in a business (or personal) setting.
“I did it.” Commonly preceded by “Oops,” this is one phrase often lacking in our busy lives. It’s so easy to blame others, the weather, technology, the dog or whatever that we sometimes seem to forget the ugly truth. Sometimes we make mistakes.
If you think bullying only takes place in the play yard at grade school, forget it. Think about the co-worker who makes your life miserable by backstabbing, lies about you or your department, or running to the boss with tales about your “mess-ups,” all geared toward them achieving their own agenda. How about the boss whose behavior can be so outrageous you wonder if there’s a “kick me” target on your back? If you’ve been in the work world any length of time, you’ve no doubt encountered bullying behavior of one sort or another. Most of us have—or will at some point in our careers. Even if you usually figure out a way to work with Mr./Ms. Crazy—or at least put up with them—you’re still left feeling wrung out.