(From Edition 19 of The Upleveler, our weekly smartletter)
A Pre-Mortem is a useful tool for building perspective
We routinely try to use pre-mortems in our internal decision-making. Sometime ago, we asked the ultimate question:"Choose To Thinq is dead. What happened?".
While some of the 'kills' were due to reasons common to all companies, here's a glimpse of some of the more interesting responses from within the team:
The founders got bored! The premise of CTQ was to help teams and individuals challenge the status quo. It means there’s an innate need to get better all the time. If the organizations they are working with don’t share the same urge to become the best versions of themselves, then there’s a good chance that CTQ doesn’t find its purpose in life being met and decides to just shut shop.
CTQ remained great within its comfort zone but failed to venture into the wild where they would be required to do things that they weren’t comfortable with and learn new skills. By not doing so, they exhausted options to grow and after a point of time, the stagnation meant it was better to close than to vegetate.
Founders risk - The founders split/had to take up something else for whatever reason. One or both the founders had some health issues or died!
Regulatory challenges - because of some strange new regulation, all organizations that were working as partnerships/with team-members working remotely had to convert to a private limited company and the regulatory costs were so prohibitive that the founders decided it was better to shut shop.
Someone who attended CTQ’s workships on presuasion and influence ‘weaponized’ that skill for an unethical/illegal purpose and as a result, CTQ got banned by governments of all the countries.
The society is just resistive towards challenging the status quo. If companies/ brands are not interested in upleveling themselves, there could be a dearth of clients. Essentially, we need to find the right TG and be scalable.
We, as an organization, don't practice what we preach. Meaning, we don't use new tech/systems and ensure that we are delivering differently. We keep following the status quo.
Positioning - our offerings are not comprehensible to customers. They still feel we're just a 'quizzing' company. They feel we don't bring value but just entertainment.
(The next step, obviously, would be to consider the severity and mitigation for these 'death threats'.)
Pre-mortems are not easy, for a variety of reasons. They can be emotionally painful, for who wants to admit to the possibility of severe failure? There could be several 'unknown unknowns' - stuff that is going to blindside us. Finally, how do you remember to do a pre-mortem when it's not yet a habit?
So take a metaphorical knife in hand and consider killing your company, project, or career prospects from time to time! It can be the difference between an early, unanticipated 'death' and a bullet dodged.
Got a pre-mortem threat for CTQ? Share it with us in the comments!
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