Posts Tagged ‘Planning’

“Zip It”: Why Naming Your Initiative Is The First Step Toward Failure

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009

zip-it

In a previous column, A Mug Full of Change, I asked the question, “Why do we have so many change mugs?” With each new initiative comes a new mug — and rather than helping to make change, they often end up merely collecting change. I reasoned that we have so many mugs because we have so many flavor-of-the-month initiatives. I shared seven areas our organizations will always be working to improve. It is the job of the leader to provide the context for new initiatives — to show employees that we are not jumping on another fad, but rather continuing our journey to get better every day. We may introduce new methods or approaches to doing the seven things — a new strategic planning model or different process improvement techniques, for example — but we will never not be doing the seven things.

 

In this column, I’d like to address the other reason we have so many mugs: the almost universal desire to name our change initiatives. Look around your cubicle at all the logo-adorned mugs, pens, paperweights and mousepads. See what I mean?

What could possibly be wrong with naming your change initiative? As someone with a marketing degree who had named several initiatives and held big kickoff events, I had assumed that was step one in creating change: Create a brand, a catchy name that people would remember. (more…)