Try and Try again – or maybe not? Persistence pays.

When I was a child, my parents often exhorted me to “Try & Try again” if I failed at something.

In business, all too often I meet companies who, when something is suggested, respond with “Oh that doesn’t work – we tried it some time ago and it failed”

If you dig into that & get them to recall the details, it’s amazing what you can find.

A direct mail campaign didn’t work for us

Well, in fact you only sent one piece of mail, to a small selection of your past customers

We tried using a different system

This is one of my favourites. In general people are resistant to change and prefer to do things the familiar way. If they aren’t convinced of the need to change, your team will prefer to see the new system fail.

It was too complicated

Well, it might be, but it is more likely that the proposal wasn’t broken down into its component parts. You can eat an elephant, one mouthful at a time, but if you start with the whole elephant on the plate it can be a bit intimidating.

Most of the time, business don’t try often enough or hard enough. They are not convinced of the strategy, and go into it half-heartedly, then withdraw at the first obstacle. That’s a recipe for failure.

If you are going to try something new, research it, plan the steps, and then execute it whole heartedly, with real commitment from the leaders of the business.

You could still fail because your strategy was incorrect, but most of the time Initiatives fail for poor execution, not faulty strategy.