“Beginnings are always messy.”— John Galsworthy

Changing the game for organizations attracts attention. 

I am working with three different clients on three different initiatives.  They are all unique and yet they have one big thing in common. They are all challenging the status quo of how things are done in a fundamental way. They are reaching for a higher bar of excellence.

Changing the game in these ways is garnering lots of attention.  The leaders that I am working with in each situation have the same big three challenges.

The skeptics are being vocal.  There are people who can see the flaws of the new ideas. They see big risks ahead and they want to talk about them.

More people than we have room for want to partake in the events. These are large organizations. Room in the events is limited. We only have so much capacity to have in-depth discussions with all those who will be leading the way.

It gets messy.  Doing things in a new way looks much messier than the status quo. The status quo is well honed. It is very familiar. It often has a polish to it.  The new way is a trailblazing exercise. Materials may look ugly in comparison.

What are we doing to address these challenges?

We are bringing in the skeptics as much as possible. They wouldn’t be so vocal if they didn’t care. They care. We are taking in their ideas and making our approach better. 

We are bringing in the skeptics as much as possible. They wouldn’t be so vocal if they didn’t care. They care. We are taking in their ideas and making our approach better. 

We are making as much room as we can.  To those who don’t fit in the first wave of events, we don’t say no. We provide them alternative ways to participate. We want as many people moving this forward as possible.

We publicize the messiness. We are making it clear that this is not business as usual. The messiness is part of the attraction. Everyone sees the promise of the mess. They see how the currently visible mess can make the game we are changing so much better.

Yours in the calm pursuit of excellence,

Alan Willett
You may also like:

2019 is Hereby Deemed the Year of Speed

Once a quarter, I publish a special quarterly edition which as you’ll see is a little longer and has different content than the weekly newsletters. This quarter’s edition announces The Year of Speed!

A Lesson, When In Doubt, Seek Input

I’m going to be partnering with one of the leading nonprofit organizations in project management in a new initiative to develop online course offerings. The opportunity is exciting. But the question is, what should I build first? To answer this, I am seeking your input.

Always Prepare to Invest in the Next System!

There are a number of headlines recently essentially screaming, “UNEMPLOYMENT SYSTEMS ARE BROKEN BECAUSE OF COBOL!”

Amp Up Your Remote Meetings

I have written before about drummers and how crucial they are in setting the pace for band performances.Meetings are the drumline of an organization. They set the beat.


"Ritual is important to us as human beings. It ties us to our traditions and our histories." — Miller Williams, Poet My wife and I just celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary. Even though real work of building a life together happens in the minutes and hours between...


"A strategic inflection point is a time in the life of a business when its fundamentals are about to change. that change can mean an opportunity to rise to new heights. But it may just as likely signal the beginning of the end." — Andrew Grover There are a wave of...

Be Neither the Giver or Receiver of Anti-help

There is a lesson about anti-help I learned early in my career.


I really enjoyed Alex Goldfayn’s book about growing “confidence, happiness, and sales”. The focus is on sales, but the lessons are great for any leader.

Building a Bridge Over Troubled Waters Takes Collaboration of Sponsors and Teams

It turned out to be a trainwreck of a meeting.

The project leader had prepared well for the meeting. He had worked hard with his team to create a full plan for the project. They had never prepared a plan in which they were so confident…

Caution. Great Help Can Actually Be Anti-Help.

I was once coaching a leader whose team absolutely adored him…