Last week, Sir James Dyson announced that he was scrapping his company’s electric car project. His decision was criticized in the media and described as a ‘humbling U-turn.’

I disagree. Yes, the decision represented a U-turn, but it was far from humbling.

In fact, I believe that there should be more U-turns on strategic projects. As Margaret Thatcher nearly once put it, “U-Turn if you want to!”

When you’re working on something new and innovative, there are good odds that it won’t work. The worst thing you can do is to carry on with a project when you know that, despite your best efforts, it’s not right for your customers or your business.

Too many initiatives, however, end up as zombie projects – neither dead or alive ­- simply clogging up the energy and resources of your organization. In my estimation, these projects can represent a third of the projects running in a typical business.

Why not make a list of the key projects launched by your own company over the past 12 months? How many of them are hitting their targets and are motoring ahead? And how many of them were supported at first, but stopped when it became clear that they couldn’t deliver against their major goals?

And how many of them have been allowed to persist, even when they’re failing to meet your original objectives?

Off The Record: Turn! Turn! Turn! by The Byrds

To everything

Turn! Turn! Turn!

There is a season

Turn! Turn! Turn!

And a time to every purpose

Under heaven

© Stuart Cross 2019. All rights reserved.