Tension is problematic when it leads to inaction. When it freezes you in place. One tactic we’ve tried — and I would recommend — to chip away at tension, fear or hesitation within the company is something I’ll loosely call “End of the World” planning. Don’t worry, the name is way more dramatic than it sounds. But EOTW planning does one important thing: it forces you to ask the question. What could happen that would disrupt this whole thing? What market forces could change your business model? What team losses or obstructions would make it impossible to proceed? This kind of direct approach to tension does a few things for you.
- It makes the topic more approachable. Once you start talking about the worst case scenario (I mean really talking about it) it starts to get less scary. It becomes a sort of academic conundrum — a game to conquer.
- It reveals assets you otherwise may have missed that position you well to overcome the tension.
- It enables you to spin off experiments and projects to tackle those fears, complications or areas of high-tension. In short, it keeps you innovating.
Just a thought. Curious how others attack this kind of internal hesitation.
Outstanding article. Thank you for writing it, Sam Spurlin.
(Meghan at HubSpot)