Planning to Succeed is not the same as Planning Not to Fail

To be successful you must plan to succeed. But you must also plan not to fail.

Here’s the difference:

When planning organizational change you likely think of communicating purpose, allocating resources, and getting people trained. Those help you succeed.

Yet you could still fail. Why? Often people don’t change because of the uncertainty associated with it. Will they like the change? Will they be good at it? Will they be more secure or less secure? Will they have more status or less? Uncertainty makes people fearful and fear creates inhibition. That’s a big reason why people don’t change.

Planning not to fail means identifying the potential causes of failure and then taking preventative action and preparing to take corrective action. Involve your people. Before you start to implement change, ask them one question: How could this fail? Encourage them and recognize them for talking about what could cause your efforts to fail. Now you’re playing defense as well as offense.

Don’t just plan to succeed. Plan not to fail.

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