I have a close friend that had gone through a very rough divorce. I know, all too common storyline, but something he said he gained from it was an incredible piece of insight. He had an older, wise and one of the best attorneys available. At the beginning of the process, he asked his attorney one simple question. How will this play out? To which the attorney replied, “I don’t know.”
All too often I come into a project or a program that my client has already dove into the deep end and are drowning. By that, I mean that they have done their best with their limited knowledge of Digital Business Transformations, and without the assistance of an initial independent and trusted advisor, they are swayed by outside firms, vendors and the pressure of appearing they know all that is needed to complete this monster initiative they have set out on in order to appease the C-Suite and Board.
It takes a lot of wisdom and experience to be able to confidently say “I don’t know.” It’s a strength to know your ignorance, embrace it and get the proper tools for the job. It’s referred in part to as Emotional Intelligence. Digital Business Transformations are incredibly stressful, painstaking processes that stretch businesses at the very best of implementations. That being said, each one is always different and individual. The roadmaps from one client to the next can be similar, but at the end of the journey, the results can vary for a plethora of reasons. Leadership, staffing, economics, cash flow, human dynamics. You name it, it can affect the program at its core regardless of how well planned and implemented.
I personally get excited about the clients that come to me at the pre-planning phases. It’s a blank slate. They look to me to advise them, transfer knowledge and lessons learned so that they can avoid missteps along the path. A trusted third-party advisor is paramount in this phase. The organizations best interest is the only thing in play with them. Giving the client the best-known options, advice, and opportunities for success. That’s really all one needs and can hope for in that part of this beautiful tornado that is digital transformations.
Back to the end of my friend’s story. He stated that because he’d never been through this situation, he made no bones about it or acted with the knowledge he simply didn’t have. His trusted advisor, the attorney, was able to navigate him through tumultuous waters to the end of a very difficult process, with a result that was as good as something as difficult as that can be. His ignorance was an asset and he came out farther ahead listening to wise counsel, rather than letting emotion and pride sweep him in an undertow. “I don’t know” is simply embracing Ignorance as an asset, and in doing so, ensuring better odds of future successes in your endeavors.