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The Curse Of The Project

Date - 15 April 2016/ Category - Facts Of Life
Facts of life

In the modern world of business people seem to spend more time talking about doing things than actually doing them.

If you study any successful person who has succeeded in more than one area of expertise there is a common theme among them; they know how to get things done.

That doesn’t mean they are a nice person or even particularly clever but among them runs a rich vein of focused work.

Yet successful entrepreneurs are few and far between. Most people think of an entrepreneur as someone who starts their own business but in truth this is a weak definition.

Anyone can start a business, but it takes an entrepreneur to start and succeed in multiple ventures. Just take that in for a second; if you can’t repeat the success you’ve seen before elsewhere then you’re not an entrepreneur.

Businesses start new ventures or projects every day and we don’t attach the word entrepreneur to the employees charged with running them but seemingly as soon as you own the company the word entrepreneur becomes a default title no matter the outcome.

Instead of one person attracting a fancy title, businesses often spread the load across multiple people, hiring project managers and consultants (at great expense) to get the next job done. Whereas an entrepreneur will keep their team slim and focus their attention on moving forward, companies with project managers tend to pile their boardrooms to the rafters with consultants.

These consultants spend hours learning about a business they have never worked in and compiling reports on how to improve them.

When the job is done they publish reports, documented in detail with steps as to how that report was produced on what the future could look like if the plan is enacted.

Around the same time as a project team is in agreement as to the project they are going to launch an entrepreneur will have probably already accomplished their task.

The problem with projects and consultants is that they exist to serve their own purpose of existing. They don’t exist to serve an end goal because in effect they would do themselves out of a job.

Consultants are paid by the day, and taking your time means increasing your own bank balance.
It’s a common misconception that large teams of people with great CVs are how to accomplish great things; they aren’t.

The key is to have a goal and start working, making mistakes and learning on the job. A relentless move towards your goal is better than sitting in a room talking about how to get there. In the modern world we value the project over the goal much to the detriment of our progress.

It’s the reason why small companies are more innovative than big ones, because big companies focus more on the number and rank of the names on a project than its results.

Being small is a benefit when it comes to changing the world; you don’t get lost in process maps or the red tape.

Chapter Summary:

• Don’t value the project over the result
• Small teams are usually more productive
• Consultants are incentivised to create work for themselves
• Big companies worry more about the importance of the team than the team.

Read our next blog post “The discrimination of age”.