Better to Commit than Change?

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting S.A., a Roatan, Honduras-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at andy.jordan@roffensian.com. Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

In several recent articles I’ve addressed business agility and the idea that organizations must become better able to respond and adjust to changes in the environments they operate in. This isn’t just my perspective, it’s a necessary response to technology-driven change in all industries. It’s a combination of increasing competition, greater client expectations and the advancement of technology that makes the impossible possible at faster rates than ever before.

Organizations can no longer plan work a year in advance, confident that they won’t have to make major adjustments; instead they are planning a quarter in advance with expectations that those plans will need to be reviewed monthly to ensure they remain relevant. At the same time, they are re-validating those expectations to ensure they are the right ones in an ever-evolving operating environment.

I recently had a conversation with an executive who challenged this premise that organizations had to constantly evolve and adapt their plans in response to actions by the competition, suppliers, customer expectations or advancing technological capability. Her argument was that the organization that remained committed to a solution, and avoided changing in response to external factors, would still deliver success. She suggested that technology adoption, at least by the majority of clients, …

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"The higher up you go, the more mistakes you are allowed. Right at the top, if you make enough of them, it's considered to be your style."

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