(This post was originally shared at Leading by DESIGN, where I’m a team member. It is written for our LEAD 365 alumni, although all are welcome to read it.)
Imagine you are running a race. All the runners gather together, stretching muscles, bouncing on the balls of their feet to warm up, drinking a last few sips of water, popping in their earbuds. The loudspeaker fires up to give the final warning, the starting gun goes off, and all the runners take off.
But in this race, there is no marked course. The race officials believe that the course the runners should take is obvious. Why mark it? They emailed the course to the runners a few months ago. The runners all do their best, but as the race continues, different people turn off on different roads, each one sure they are following the correct course.
The race officials are baffled as few runners trickle into the finish line, some right away, some hours later, and a whole lot not at all. Didn’t the runners read that email outlining the course?