Sisyphus sure loved his rock, didn’t he?
Look, we’ve all been there, some of us as recently as this week. The focus, the emphasis, every sinew and mental iota turns towards that one task, that one project, that one work effort. If we can only keep pushing and get it over the hump – and one last push is all it’s going to take.
But probably not.
The problem isn’t the rock, the problem is the concept we develop that with enough effort anything can be accomplished. After all, wouldn’t I be contradicting my earlier post if I said otherwise?
Let’s go tactile again. Let’s talk about sunk cost fallacy. While the discussion around the proto-typical movie ticket might focus on cost already invested, and not letting the investment go to waste, note that the bottom line comes down to not making the investment when it’s already clear that any further investment isn’t going to lead to a desired outcome.
This is where your objective contrarian is going to come in handy again. In this particular case, everyone thinks that with just a little more investment, the desired outcome can be achieved – because the last 2, 4 or 8 rounds of investment made a difference? Here too is where the objective comes into play. We are certainly not saying that the objective is impossible – there is, after all, no such thing. What we are saying is that something is amiss and needs to be addressed before the desired outcomes have a chance to be achieved. Perhaps the problem is too abstract, perhaps we’re trying to solve the wrong problem. For example, in an attempt to rationalize two different scheduling systems, the problem might not be the integration, the problem may lay in how the business operates that impedes two units, and their systems, to cleanly integrate. The solution then stats with business operations, not technology. Automating incoherent systems leads to incoherent outcomes.
So … why are you still carrying that rock?