• Johannes Mutzke

Pressure from All Sides? Give Peace a Chance!


In the early days of my career I had the amazing opportunity to work for a large global company launching their first manufacturing plant in the United States. As part of the ramp-up, I distinctly remember the exciting journey….AND growing pains: a new “unknown” product, inexperienced employees, struggling suppliers, debugging new equipment, constant quality challenges, etc…

Since our team was under a strong mandate from corporate to turn the tide and stabilize quality, I remember the immense pressure we felt to prove we could handle operations, and had an effective plan to deliver the required results.

Of course, whenever we had a management review or “check-in with corporate” the pressure would rise……and we’d feel compelled to come up with something more effective, more clever, a new approach, a “silver bullet” that would save the day…and buy us more time. Sound familiar?

At one point in this frantic circle of activity, I also remember the chief designer saying something I’ve never forgotten – “since we keep changing the plan, we don’t even really understand what’s actually driving the results we’re seeing today; I’d rather we stick to a mediocre plan long enough to see results…then improve on it; at least we’d have clarity on cause-and-effect and have a stable base from which to improve.”

Can you relate? Perhaps you’re under pressure to finally deliver the plan that makes “all the stars align”…or turn around performance with a perfect “get well plan.”

The answer may lie in resisting the urge to constantly re-discuss, re-start, re-hash, re-question…and actually have the discipline to stick to your plan long enough to get results, understand what’s driving them….and only then systematically improve upon it.

This approach mitigates frantic chaos and random action, putting much higher value on consistent execution than “the perfect plan.” It creates a stable base for learning & pivoting, which then allows you to strategically activate the right improvement-levers, giving you much more insight on cause and effect…and ultimately results.

So the next time you feel compelled to change an action plan prematurely, resist the urge…rigorously execute the “mediocre plan” you’ve got… and “GIVE PEACE A CHANCE.”

Photo by Anastasiya Lobanovskaya from Pexels


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