S2 E113 — 9 Pitfalls to Avoid

Lessons drawn from our seven mini-cases demonstrate when organizations are reinventing themselves there are at least 9 pitfalls they should avoid to ensure a successful transformation.

“4”  Steve McQueen (1930 – 1980): “Recognize when you’re being obsessive, which is, at least in today’s case, another word for self-interested. Then open it up by focusing outside of yourself.” Aries  

Hi and welcome to Saturday’s Episode 113 in Season 2 of  “My Pandemic Year Natural Experiment” on this 12th day of September in the fall of 2020.  

“The Tau of Steves: What You Don’t Know Could Fill a Book”

Table of Contents

Season One and Two are a two-year examination of how bits of wisdom changed during the “normal” pre-pandemic and then in this unfolding pandemic year.

Previously in Season Two, the Pandemic Year

S2 E112Betting on the Progress of 5 Innovation Teams;S2 E111 Against All Odds 530 is Alive!; S2 E110Keys for Reinventing a FUD-Soaked Enterprise

Related from Season One, the Normal Year

S1 E113Is This an Omen?; S1 E112 —  When Was the Last Time You Wrangled Your Past?; S1 E111Is There Half-life of Wisdom?; S1 E110Love, Longing, Belonging, Connection and Loss


This is a continuation of a “Volume Two Manuscript — WorkFit” a work-in-progress. In previous episodes we described Start Up, Emerging Growth, Rapid Growth, Sustained Growth, Maturity, Decline and now Reinvention stages.   

Reinvention without Decline

Image Credit: Stephen G. Howard  Copyright 2020


Now let’s summarize what we learned from our Reinvention mini-cases operating from within a technology company,  Part One,  Part Two and Part Three and from a different industry with similar needs, but from a consulting assignment. We profiled Part One , Two , Three  and Four in our most recent episodes.

9 Pitfalls to Avoid

Across our seven mini-cases, when organizations are reinventing themselves there are several pitfalls they should avoid to ensure a successful transformation:

    1. Lack of Clear Vision: Of course this might be the most difficult of all.  Who really knows what lies ahead at the end of a successful transformation? (Part One Technology company, Part One PRERS, Two PRERS) Avoid embarking on a transformation journey without a well-defined and communicated vision. A clear direction is crucial to align efforts and goals. 
    2. Resistance to Change: Without a clear vision and a reason to believe how can you avoid resistance to change from within the organization. (Part One  Flipping curmudgeons,  Part One PRERS marketing campaign Two PRERS and Four PRERS participating with 5 Innovation Teams)  Encourage open communication and address concerns to gain buy-in from employees at all levels. 
    3. Overlooking Employee Engagement: Neglecting the involvement and engagement of employees can hinder the success of the reinvention process. (Part One in and outside partnerships, reason for my department; Two what is PRERS’ core foundational story Four PRERS participating with 5 Innovation Teams) Employees are key stakeholders and should be active participants.
    4. Rapid and Unplanned Changes: Abrupt and poorly planned changes can disrupt operations and demotivate employees. (Part Two Technology company fear of merger and Part One PRERS closing sales offices, well intentioned notices like pink slips) Gradual and well-structured changes are generally more effective. 
    5. Copying Competitors Blindly: While learning from competitors can be beneficial, blindly copying their strategies may not be suitable for your organization’s unique needs and goals. (Part Two during merger, who wins vs. what will win and Four PRERS participating with 5 Innovation Teams, strategy conversations instead of copying competitors)
    6. Short-Term Focus:  This may be the most difficult obstacle for mature companies to acknowledge and overcome. Avoid concentrating solely on short-term gains.  (Part Two technology company sailing to Catalina boondoggle) Successful reinventions often require a balance between short-term wins and long-term sustainability.
    7. Neglecting Data and Analytics: Data-driven decision-making is crucial in the reinvention process. (Reinvention team member selection and Part Two technology company employee survey, but delay in feeding back) Neglecting data and analytics can lead to uninformed choices. 
    8. Ignoring Company Culture: A successful transformation should consider and align with the existing company culture. (Three technology company’s factory of the future Two PRERS, Three PRERS 580) Disregarding cultural aspects can lead to internal conflicts.
    9. Underestimating Resources: Be realistic about the resources, time, and effort required for the reinvention. (Three technology company) Underestimating these factors can lead to project failures, especially if the company has been conditioned to produce short-term results.

By being mindful of these potential pitfalls and actively working to address them, organizations can increase their chances of successful reinvention and achieve their desired outcomes.


“2”  Steve Zahn, 51: “Self-awareness is where it’s at. Everyone has it to varying degrees, but the ones who have it more keenly are usually better off. So, if you pick on yourself a little, count it as an asset.” Scorpio

Random ones that make me want change my sign.

“4”  Steve McQueen (1930 – 1980): “Recognize when you’re being obsessive, which is, at least in today’s case, another word for self-interested. Then open it up by focusing outside of yourself.” Aries  

Telling this story now during this pandemic qualifies, doesn’t it?

“3”  Steve Carrell, 57; Steve Martin, 74; Steve Wozniak, 69: “The bottom line is that you shouldn’t have to shell out much money to follow your dreams. In fact, you can be paid to chase them. At this time, internships are better than classes, which will cost you.  Leo

Swap out “internship” for “consulting” and “freelancing” and it fits better for me. 

“2”  Steve Greene, 34; Steve Guttenberg, 61:Rainbow chasing can be a lovely pastime. But don’t chase the ones that promise effortless, fast results for the low, low price of BLANK (insert high, high price).” Virgo

Probably good advice in general, but not for today.

“2”  Steve Kerr, 54:If you want a job done right, give it to someone who is already working. Working people are following physical laws like the law of inertia: What moves keeps moving unless acted upon by force.” Libra

Hard one to keep in mind while quarantined.

What’s Going On

Literally Bottled and Set Adrift from KnowWhere Atoll 

    • @KnowLabs followers of one or more of my 35 digital magazines organically grew from 4990 to 5060.




    • Saw the movie, didn’t realize that one of my favorite authors, Michael Connelly — his detective Hieronymus (Harry) Bosch book series and Amazon Prime series — also wrote, “The Lincoln Lawyer” which I just finished. Gotta tell you I can’t not see his lead character (Mickey Haller, Bosch’s half brother) as anyone else but Matthew McConaughey. 

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Inspired by: Holiday Mathis – Creators Syndicate


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