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Why do projects fail?

Why do projects fail?

While the answer to this might not always be simple, by working in successful projects and some not so successful I have come to understand what can work and what generally doesn’t. There is no denying that practical approaches leading an enterprise to success do exist but organisations are complex by design. There are many moving parts and they have a distinct culture and approach that works for them. But can we innovate, change and evolve from the thinking that has got us to where we are today?

There are many different kinds of organisations and structures – some more internally focused, others more externally focused. Some are willing to invest in the new, while others are looking to sustain what they have. Some are selling value, while others are selling time. The major challenge with organisations is they are structured for profit. This is great when it comes to core activities, however, this thinking can stifle innovation and growth. The dreaded red tape that exists is there to maintain the integrity and standards of the organisation’s core business. If you take the same principles and mindsets into the innovation and change arena there are guaranteed to be challenges.

The mindset and underlying culture in business are key. The rules, values and beliefs will drive your innovation and change initiatives. Some businesses at their core have an innovation mindset and are willing to take risks; Apple, Google and Uber are big examples of this. While others play to their strengths and believe the business, as usual, is what we must do; Kodak, Blockbuster and Borders.

Innovation in business can require a culture change, foresight, the willingness to take risks, commitment and persistence to follow it through, even when things get tough. Your organisational mindset will determine if you continuously invest in R&D, test new business models or just focus on incremental change. Or even worse, maybe do nothing at all.

I have been involved in designing and developing technology for over a decade, and the change we have seen in that time have been significant; the iPhone, Facebook, Google, NetFlix, etc. We are beginning to see the rise of AI, Robotics, IoT, AR and VR in business. But what really interests me is what is next, what is coming over the next 3-5 years that could impact your business, or even change your entire business model. In the end, we need to make the decision: are we going to lead the change and drive the innovation, or are we going to hold on to a hope that everything works out for us.  

Six months ago, I was introduced to OGI, the Organisational Growth Indicator. The model established by Dr Richards, in Canada that has now come into Australia. At Aerion, we were lucky enough to be one of Australia’s first pilot studies for the OGI. It has since been applied in organisations such as ANCA and LendLease. The OGI opened up my eyes to the mindsets within Aerion. It shone a light on the fact that as an organisation we had a lack of alignment between management and our people. Management was going in one direction, while the team was going in another. Communication from management to the team was lacking and there was little buy-in to the direction. Just knowing this has allowed us to implement simple strategies that have made significant impacts on our business. Our team is more engaged; we are working together to continuously improve and drive changes in processes, marketing and even business models. 

OGI can not only bring awareness to your business, but it can also show you how your business mindsets will impact your financial results. For Aerion to add more value, we decided to become accredited in the OGI program. Why?

I have seen first-hand great technology developed, but organisations dropping the projects because it becomes too hard to get buy-in within their organisation. I have seen a lack of alignment between Marketing and Operations that has produced software that doesn’t work in the real world. Wouldn’t it be better to bring awareness of these possible challenges before investing hundreds of thousands of dollars developing solutions?

As a Licenced OGI practitioner, I can say that it is a diagnostic tool that can help companies not only identify their specific challenges but also point them in the direction of where to dig first. OGI collects quantitative data from your people, shows your where there is alignment and where you will need to improve to really drive change within your business.

If you are looking to implement change, to develop a new technology or disrupt your industry the OGI will give you clarity and the areas of focus to drive success. 

If you would like to learn more about OGI feel free to reach out, I would love to discuss how the OGI can increase your likelihood of success.

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