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Name Your Limitations!

I have a deep appreciation for science and scientists due to their pragmatic approach to work and findings, unlike corporate individuals who often display a certain level of delusion. The key distinction lies in the scientific commitment to self-critique, a practice that others should adopt. Note: I know that science is also corrupt. 


In the realm of academia, every research paper features a "Limitations" section, obliging scholars to catalogue deficiencies and potential threats to data integrity. This practice stems from the recognition that it's impossible to account for every variable or predict the repercussions of interventions.


And this is where corporate folks go wrong. They are always convinced about the infallibility of their action plans, strategies, interventions, training programs, or policies as ultimate solutions. Unfortunately, this is far from reality, and we know it. 


God forbid a strategic or analytical thinker to attend these planning or strategy meetings because they ask questions. They pose uncomfortable questions that serve as the equivalent of a "Limitations" section. Regrettably, they are often dismissed as naysayers or negative influences, when in fact, they are crucial voices prompting consideration of unexplored outcomes.


Once I asked a leader "What could be the possible consequences of your plan?" He said, "Nothing, it will all work out." I just said sure! Two months later I was in his office listening to him not being able to sleep because one of the outcomes of this plan upset someone at the corporate level and now his job is being questioned. He could have anticipated this but hey. 


Questioning everything is a must when we take action. Each plan, strategy, and decision-making should have a "What could go wrong?" and a "Limitations" section where the team plays with possible outcomes and acknowledges the shortcomings of their plan, strategy, probably decision etc. 


There is one more important thing I miss from corporations, the ability to be ready for the unplanned outcome of our actions. I would never in a million year would say, I planned for everything. You simply we just cannot. So if you think, implementing the four-day workweek will have only positive outcomes, think again. 


As I am writing this, it got me thinking. How about we use the word "Limitations" in performance management? Instead of weaknesses or area for improvement (I hate both), we use limitations. This could include context to my limitations i.e. I am terrible at facilitating workshops because my manager never scheduled me for the training and development program he/she promised and my lazy ass couldn't be bothered taking initiatives towards my development. There you have just discovered so many limitations that need to be addressed. 


Hmmmmm I need to think about this further........



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