Some people have such a complete vision they never achieve it. What’s more, they often spend much energy stopping others achieving their goals. This is frustrating! Successful change needs momentum.
An incomplete solution that allows forward movement is better than no solution and no movement. – Dan Rockwell
Dan suggests we tackle the paralysis of perfection and do the following.
- Persistently say complex problems have more than one solution. This opens the door to simply choosing one and moving forward. There are no perfect solutions.
- An incomplete solution that allows forward movement is better than no solution and no movement.
- Evaluate often. Is the path we chose getting us there? Many love to complain that we aren’t there. Ask them, “Is some movement better than none?” Ask them if they have a better option.
- Celebrate progress. Perfectionists love to point out that the progress isn’t enough. Ignore them and honour people who are making progress.
This is great advice. Most businesses face uncertainty and change and need to innovate. Big visions and complex strategies don’t move the organisation forward. Actions do.
How to Deal with a Paralysis of Perfection
Those who have a “why” to live, can bear with almost any “how.” – Viktor Frankl
Let strategy emerge. Have vision, yes. But don’t cripple that vision through detailed strategies and excessive planning. Successful change needs momentum—or a sense of urgency—plus short-term wins. And good progress propels people forward to work harder and make the vision reality. Remember, your vision lays out a destination, the destination guides your strategy, and strategy leads to action.
Focus on the big picture and the benefits change brings. Communicate the plan, set priorities and put in place supporting frameworks. Re-evaluate often. Understand what works and what does not work. Don’t be fearful of a wrong turn; no solution is perfect. If you’re on a journey you’ve got to be moving!
Celebrate success! Recognise or reward each contribution. People will see change working and the business moving forward: no more paralysis of perfection.
Next time you meet a perfectionist ask them where they want to go. Then tell them you can help them get there.
Have Your Say
What advice can you add? Are your goals thwarted by excessive analysis and planning? Have you witnesses the paralysis of perfection? Please join the discussion.
Creative Commons image courtesy Henry Bloomfield.