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How many rear-view mirrors do you need?

culture leadership Apr 25, 2019

How much do you look ahead and how much do you look into the rear mirror?

How much time do you spend on creating your future and how much time explaining to others (and yourself) why you do what you do?

These are crucial questions not only for your own life, but even more so for any professional organization.

Too many companies become paralyzed by looking into the rear-view mirror.

They squander precious hours on project reviews, steering committee meetings, deep-dives, audits, and reports, forgetting that such time is much better spent moving forward than looking over their shoulders.

Looking backwards is caused by a culture of fear, mistrust, and control. People look into the rear-view mirror to check who is behind them, and organizations and their leaders do the same.

Here are some indications that your organization spends too much time looking backwards:
  • Preparation and execution of project reviews takes more than ten percent of the project leader’s time.
  • The time spent on the creation of slide presentations and documents is significantly more than the time invested into development of new ideas and implementation of improvements.
  • It takes longer than six weeks to obtain approval for going ahead with a new initiative or project.

If these points describe your company, you are most likely spending too much time staring at your past instead of envisioning your future.

If you only need two rear mirrors for safe driving, why having dozens of them in your organization?

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