A friend just moved into a new house and gave me a tour. There were both cosmetic and substantive changes that he is planning to make in every room, and several of the renovations were already in progress. The result was that the whole place is torn up and none of the rooms are functional. He can’t be unpacked anywhere while he simultaneously works on flooring, painting, wall removal, and electrical re-wiring.

It reminded me of starting a new job where you come in and see a host of problems and immediately create a wish list of projects and changes that you want to make. It is tempting to jump right in and (metaphorically)tear the place up, but just as in my friend’s house, trying to tackle too many enhancements simultaneously only results in chaos.

Whether you are reimagining a house or an organization’s culture, tackling too much too soon never works out well. In my experience, it is best to pick an aspect or two to gain a quick win and then repeat the process as often as necessary until you achieve your desired results. With any kind of renovation, you’ll never be done, but it helps to finish something rather than starting on everything.

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