boil this down to the essential ingredients for success, the
intentions of all concerned with the final result will determine what
happens. If everyone involved is intending the same thing, that is
what will happen.
a complex situation with many people involved, any counter-intention
can have disastrous results. Inattention, carelessness, and lack of
understanding can result in a disaster even though many people worked
very hard to achieve a result.
projects of a personal nature, pay close attention to any lack of
cooperation or enthusiasm, and handle them immediately if you wish to
achieve your goals. This applies to your personal feelings as well as
the feelings of others. All intentions need to be aligned if you are
to achieve the future you envision.
Leggett put it much more concisely:
is very coherent and a logical progression. Being able to envision
the undertaking and/or final result comes next and can be helpful in
getting agreement for the intention. Ultimately, a fused vision
containing a high degree of agreement will create the greatest
probability of success!
any event, the final result will be the product of all intentions for
the activity. So if you are looking for the reason the activity or
project went astray, look for the intention that the project would
is probably best if you locate and handle any counter-intention
before you launch.
reliable way to increase the chances of failure is to ignore all
negative comments as the uninformed ranting of naysayers. You can
vastly improve the chances of success by doing the laborious task of
running down and dealing with every reason for the project to fail.
are professionally inclined to expect failure from unanticipated
sources, as are experienced entrepreneurs. In both cases, their plans
include consideration of the many reasons a project could fail,
including things that are unknown as yet.
on the other hand, tend to look on the bright side of things and
fixate on good outcomes and not on the unthinkable outcomes that come
from a maddened population. Marie Antionette certainly did not
consider that her attitude toward the suffering of peasants would
doom her and follow her down through history with the fictitious
quote of, “Let them eat cake!”.
other words, to forecast a possible future for yourself or your
project, first assemble all of the benefits to be obtained from the
project, and all of the reasons the project could succeed if all went
well. If the facts you have gathered warrant proceeding with the
project, then you should gather every possible reason the project
could fail or be a bad idea and work out a solid solution for each of
these reasons for failure.
this seems like too much work, don’t do it as you are already setting
yourself up for failure.
you have solutions for every possible barrier to success, feel free
to proceed cautiously and keep an eye out for the appearance of
unexpected factors that could mean failure. One of the ways to
anticipate unexpected modes of failure is to plan for a way to abort
the project with as little damage as possible. If you cannot do that,
you might end up with a Challenger disaster. Engineers knew of
serious design problems that were not being addressed, and there was
no way to rescue the astronauts if anything went wrong. Everything
had to work correctly, or the mission was doomed. And, that is what
always need to look at counter-intention to a project as a valid
objection to proceeding with the project, not as an evil move by bad
people. You can think of counter-intention as friction or as an
obstacle. If you classify counter-intention as politically motivated
intentions to harm, you have lost all objectivity and will not be
able to assess the value of the information correctly. When
management views voices of caution as enemy propaganda, the stage is
set for a major loss and summary firings of those who participated in
forging ahead with the project.
you look carefully at counter-intention, you need to distinguish what
it is based on. Is the objection based on the lack of approval by
august bodies of experts or the lack of advanced degrees in the
development group? Or is it based on the performance of similar
models in the past?
fought tooth and nail to discredit Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis, who was
an early pioneer of antiseptic procedures. Doctors knew that it was
not necessary to wash their hands between examining corpses and
living patients. Everybody knows you need a college degree to become
successful in business, but Bill Gates left Harvard after spending
two years there to start Microsoft.
the other hand, paying attention to the failures of earlier versions
of what you are creating can pay huge dividends if you are willing to
learn from their failures. When you look at why they failed or were
not economically feasible, you will often find that the environment
has changed enough that formerly unprofitable ventures are now
economically feasible. Early automobiles were only useful to people
who could travel with a mechanic and replace tires on the road. A
modern car would not function on dirt roads with potholes and a
distinct lack of charging stations. It is the interaction of good
roads, service stations, wireless emergency communication, and
satellite guidance systems for travelers that make modern road travel
so convenient that your aged grandmother can do it.
bottom line is that you can create a future event successfully if you
needs does it provide solutions for?
it be done with the resources available?
it provide an adequate return on the investment of time and energy?
we provide solutions to every objection that has been raised to doing
we shut down the project safely if some major problem is discovered?
you have been able to get this far, your project should be an
unqualified success! Everyone you have recruited to help you should
take credit in the accomplishment.