I’m Putting a Man on the Moon

Although there might be a hundred different was to say it, business leaders are most concerned about profits. Profits drive business success. For most businesses, a failure to generate profits doesn’t bode well for long-term viability. Which means no job, no paycheck, and macaroni and cheese for dinner every night.

This is particularly important for organizations doing project based work. Why? Because those organizations can validate and measure whether or not the initiatives they are working on align with business and financial objectives. If they do, the odds of the business being successful increase—if not, the odds of the business surviving long term are slim.

Of course, depending on your organization, validating that the work being done lines up with business and financial goals is easier said than done. Particularly if your organization doesn’t naturally think strategically (which some don’t). However, in today’s economy it’s critical.

The right work management software can certainly help. The right project management tools allow executives to see down into what’s being done by the workforce and confirm that it aligns with their strategy and vision; and what’s more, the workforce can see and understand just what the vision is.

Here’s a good case in point. Back in the 60s, when the Kennedy administration was committed to putting the first man on the moon, the story goes that there were rumors of problems at NASA and that the people there weren’t dedicated to the administration’s vision. So President Kennedy hopped on Air Force One and headed to NASA for a personal visit. He wanted to reinforce his commitment. Before the meeting, he stopped into the restroom where a janitor was emptying the trash and puttering around.

The President asked, “How are you?”

The janitor replied, “I’m doing great. I’m putting a man on the moon.”

The President left the restroom, got back on Air Force One, and flew back to Washington. There was NO problem at NASA.

Making the strategy and vision accessible to everyone helped NASA put men on the moon. I can still remember looking up at the moon the night Neil Armstrong made “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”