We can make the choices others can’t

Me: Why would you do that?

Them: You just don’t understand

Me: Help me understand, what could have possibly driven you away from the <fill in obviously right thing> and to do <fill in obviously wrong thing>

Them: Well, it’s complicated.  There are other groups, and schedules, and my boss said, and …

Me: Let’s not do <the obviously wrong thing>.  Tell them I made you do it.  I am happy to take the blame.

Them: … but were different … we can’t…

Me: Doing the right thing is, by definition, the right thing to do. Just do it.

This type of thing plays out time an time again during recovery projects.  But I’m a very lucky man.  I live in a very simple world.  Decisions fall neatly into two camps;  A decision helps deliver a high quality solution to users on-time and within budgets or it prohibits deliver a high quality solution to users on-time and within budgets.  Sure there are shades of gray but any given decision will be to the right or left of center. 

As a consultant, an outsider, I get the luxury of making choices for the sole purpose of delivering.  I am guilt free and go happily about my day without the fear, uncertainty, and doubt that can cloud the judgement, or at least reset prioritizes in such a way as to elicit bad behavior, of the permanent staff. 

Recovery projects are a seemingly endless series of triage decisions.  Choosing the poor over the terrible and the merely horrible over the unforgivable.  On the really good days you get to build things or set best practices in motion that reinforces good behavior.  On a really bad day you hope to do no harm.   In the end being blamed for a truly fine idea which is compromised into a mostly acceptable, temporary solution is a win to be celebrated.