Categories: PMI PMO Symposium 2018
by Cyndee Miller
Project leaders aren’t exactly known as rebels.
And Luke Williams pulled no punches on why that needs to change, calling out project and program managers as frequent barriers to anything beyond incremental change. Too often, he said, they stick to established systems.
“Project management can exacerbate this path dependence,” the New York University professor said in his closing keynote at PMO Symposium. “You’re the ones enforcing this path.”
There’s far too little emphasis on delivering discontinuity, he said, which puts most organizations in a bad spot: Complacency is literally the most dangerous attitude in business.
So go ahead, chuck the best practices and traditional success measures and embrace your inner rebel. Forget reasonable predictions. Go for unreasonable provocations, Mr. Williams told attendees.
In his eyes, that’s the biggie: The most important thing a project leader does is manage the organization’s ideas.
Not every idea is going to work—there are bound to be some spectacular flameouts. So he encouraged project leaders to give themselves and their teams permission to be wrong.
That mindset can admittedly be a wee bit unsettling. But if you're going to commit to disruptive change, he said, your job is not to make everyone happy—it’s to make everyone uncomfortable.
The upside, according to Mr. Williams: Truly unexpected ideas have less competition—which means a longer lead time for execution and a stronger chance of success.
Who’s ready to embrace their inner rebel?