John De Sa's Blog

From The Brink

From the Brink

Have you ever had a project in trouble?  Have you ever had a company in trouble?   I think we have all had that experience.  Things just never seem to hit their stride, and one thing after another just seems to stack against you.  We have all been there.  The question is how do you pull the project back from the brink of disaster?  This is one of the questions I am asked repeatedly, and I have found that there are many variations upon the theme, but it comes down to a few common sense rules.


What was I thinking?

What were you thinking?  Ever have this go through your head as you are listening to the latest round of status reports painting the rosiest picture possible, half of which will end in disaster.  Why are you only checking in once a month?  These are major projects, why are you not talking with the project manager at least every couple of weeks?  Not through a status report but actually talking about the challenges, the things going right, and looking for the gems of what your company is really like underneath.  How do we know we are communicating that these projects are important, and that we are working to expand our presence in the market.  Most employee’s do not know that if you do not make money, they do not have paychecks.  Sounds silly, but if you were to ask your employee’s how the company makes money, most could not answer the question.  Ask them where their paycheck comes from and most will answer payroll or HR.  Really?



Why We Do What We Do

One of the things that fascinates me about business in general is how capital decisions are made.  Many of these are betting the future of the company and I have seen hundreds of decision making processes from "just wing it" to a 2 year study on a 2 million dollar investment.  The interesting aspect of these decisions is that they illustrate the "bet your business" element of directional spending.