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Navigate: Anticipate Fizzle Out

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Almost every initiative or project in the world loses momentum at some point. It’s human nature. We are very excited at the beginning and the enthusiasm drops off. This can be described as the motivational dip (see Figure 30). The interesting thing is that this phenomenon can always be predicted. So there is no point in pretending that it won’t happen. It is far more intelligent and effective to anticipate the fizzle out and build fail-safes into the plan from the start. Check-ins, reminders, incentives and sometimes even a quiet talking to all play their part in keeping the plan on track. Be realistic about human motivation and get practical.


Sustainable commitment needs to run through the entire organization (see 3.4). Without robust and effective internal communication, principles can easily weaken in the face of day-to-day reality, as Figure 31, adapted from Brand Manners by Pringle & Gordon, nicely illustrates. This is often described as a strategy/execution gap.


Board enthusiasm means little if initiatives are met with cynicism on the front line. Strategies need to be fully explained to be successfully embraced at all levels of the business. Anticipate this and put measures in place to keep momentum going.

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