How do you know when to persevere or when to abandon your efforts?
According to Rosabeth Moss Kanter persistence and perseverance are important for anyone leading a new venture, change project, or turnaround. But the miserable middle offers a choice point:
Do you stick with the venture and make mid-course corrections, or do you abandon it?
“When you’re getting something new going, the difference between success and failure is often a matter of time: how long you give it before you give up. Efforts that begin with high hopes inevitably hit a disappointing sag."
It’s Kanter’s Law: “Everything can look like a failure in the middle.” - Rosabeth Moss Kanter
Kanter has created 12 key questions that can help you decide whether it should be shut down or helped through the messy middle:
1. Are the initial reasons for the effort still valid, with no consequential external changes?
2. Do the needs for which this solution remain unmet, or are competing solutions still unproven or inadequate?
3. Would the situation get worse if this effort stopped?
4. Is it more cost-effective to continue than to pay the costs of restarting?
5. Is the vision attracting more adherents?
6. Are leaders still enthusiastic, committed, and focused on the effort?
7. Are resources available for continuing investment and adjustments?
8. Is skepticism and resistance declining?
9. Is the working team motivated to keep going?
10. Have critical deadlines and key milestones been met?
11. Are there signs of progress, in that some problems have been solved, new activities are underway, and trends are positive?
12. Is there a concrete achievement — a successful demonstration, prototype, or proof of concept?
Acknowledgment: The post highlights the article 12 Guidelines for Deciding When to Persist, When to Quit by Rosabeth Moss Kanter Infographic data source: AnnaVitals & AdiomaApp and summarized by David McLean, MA (Leadership) CHRL, LinkedIn Top Voices in Company Culture 2022 I Executive Advisor | HR Leader (CHRO) | Leadership Coach | Talent Strategy | Change Leadership | Innovation Culture | Healthcare | Higher Education