Before every big group project or new initiative, there’s a moment when a little cleaning would make a big difference.
This “cleaning” comes in alot of forms:
Talking about prior efforts that weren’t successful
Asking questions no one else has seemed to raise
Clarifying what the overall target is
Getting rid of stuff that won’t be helpful
Imaging and planning for what may get in the way
In the design/creative world, this is commonly referred to a “pre-mortem”. It’s not necessarily “beginning with the end in mind” as we so often hear we should do (and can be unrealistic anyways). It has more to do with visualizing what the barriers are and what can go wrong. Posting FAQs on a website — a move mostly geared towards reducing the friction of selling/buying something — is an example of what comes out of a pre-mortem.
Pre-mortem cleaning is a chance for “essential honesty” about what you’re about to do. It’s a chance to say ‘are we going in the right direction?’ ‘Are we ready for when this gets messy?’ Notice it’s not about preventing the mess, just being ready to focus on the new mess.
Don’t move in all the furniture before the floors get cleaned.
Founder, The Idea Enthusiast. Speaker, Trainer, Facilitator, and writer about all things creative consulting. DC-based consultant to individuals who want to be more creative, teams who want to collaborate without fear, and anyone who wants to deliver the best pitches and presentations.