The best laid plans

All too often, even the most well laid plans fail because the leadership of the organization suddenly decides to move the goal posts by adding some new “must have” feature or deciding to use cheaper materials after the work has already started.

The leadership should resist the temptation to interfere once a project is underway and let it follow its natural course. Any attempts they make to speed up the process will inevitably result in cost-overruns and delays just as any signs of anxiety or overexcitement they exhibit will negatively impact the morale and performance of the members of the project team.

「其安易持,其未兆易謀。其脆易泮,其微易散。為之於未有,治之於未亂。合抱之木,生於毫末。九層之臺,起於累土。千里之行,始於足下。為者敗之,執者失之。是以聖人無為故無敗,無執故無失。民之從事,常於幾成而敗之。慎終如始,則無敗事。是以聖人欲不欲,不貴難得之貨;學不學,復眾人之所過,以輔萬物之自然而不敢為。」
It’s easy to manage a stable situation.
It’s easy to nip a problem in the bud.
It’s easy to shatter something that’s brittle;
It’s easy to scatter something that’s minute.
Deal with matters before they happen.
Put them in order before chaos emerges.
A tree that is large enough to wrap your arms around,
Grows from a tiny shoot.
A nine-story tower,
Rises from a pile of earth.
A journey of a thousand miles,
Starts with a single step.
If you interfere in something, you will always fail.
If you cling too tightly to something, you will lose it.
For this reason, the wise don’t:
Interfere in things and thus do not fail;
Hold on to things too tightly and thus do not lose them.
People often fail at the threshold of success.
If they remain as careful at the end as at the beginning;
They will not fail.
For this reason, the wise:
Seek freedom from desire;
Do not value rare treasures;
Learn without learning;
Rectify the mistakes that the people have made;
Make sure all things follow their own nature;
Without daring to interfere.

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