Briefly: We wait for disaster before acting.
A friend of mine recently posted on Facebook that she lost one of her friends to domestic violence. At which point many other people commented in sympathy, and at least one person said she had seen the exact same thing occur.
Did those women have to die?
Workplace violence, or violence at school. Very troubled people. Sometimes people say, "I was afraid of that person."
Why do things have to get so bad, when preventive action could save lives?
I think about problems on the job, with projects that are late or over budget or simply don't work out, because nobody thought the requirements through properly, or they didn't make sure that the necessary resources were there beforehand.
Why do people have to waste their time?
It's never good to waste money. But especially in challenging economic times, why does money have to be squandered?
Mental health may seem unrelated to a cold dry subject like project management, but in reality the two are one and the same:
- If you ignore the emotional needs of a person, on the assumption that "they can take care of themselves," it is only a matter of time before they shrivel up and cease functioning. (That's why it's so important, when you see another individual, to say this, and mean it: "Hello, how's your day?")
- Similarly, if you ignore the process needs of a project, on the assumption that it will "just happen" the way it's supposed to, you can be sure that the entire thing will become a costly, tangled, messed-up mess with everybody running from the fire--of course, pointing fingers as they run.
The key to avoiding disasters, of any kind, is a prevention mindset.
What needs to happen in order for someone to be happy, healthy and engaged -- at work or at home?
What needs to happen in order for work to be carried out efficiently, sensibly, and with the highest quality result for the customer?
You know the drill--None of this is rocket science.
A little bit of attention, a little bit of care, can prevent so much unnecessary loss down the road.
All opinions my own. Public domain. Photo by TheDigitalArtist (CC0 Creative Commons).