Time to turn a knob.

Years ago I was exposed to a simple idea.
It was referred to as “the three knobs.”
Every project is ultimately controlled by turning knobs.
Up or down.
There’s the time knob, or the duration of a project.
The money knob, otherwise known as the dollar investment.
And the people knob, or the human capital investment.
Once a project is launched, those three knobs are your only way to effect the outcome.
When the project runs into an unexpected challenge, you have a few choices.
You can turn the time knob, extending the duration of the project, while holding the money and people knobs steady.
You can hold the time knob where it is and turn up the money knob, people knob, or both.
Or, you can mix it up.
A little project drift, a little resource add.
Sounds ridiculously obvious, doesn’t it?
I can assure you that it is not.
Take today’s most critical project.
No one is willing to adjust the time knob out.
Most organizations want more revenues, and faster.
But they’re also not turning the other two knobs.
They’re reluctant to even pause and think.
To consider new insights and reevaluate their value proposition.
Because that will take time and resources.
And everyone is afraid to turn a knob.
That’s why we’re seeing a surge in companies replacing people.
It’s easy. 
It doesn’t require the difficult decision to turn a knob. 
No one has to do any soul-searching.
Simply shift the pressure to someone else.
And then lull yourself into a false sense of hope.
Like what’s happening in Washington, D.C.
Robert Louis Stevenson wrote, “Most of our pocket wisdom is conceived for the use of mediocre people.
To discourage them from ambitious attempts, and generally console them in their mediocrity.”
Please don’t acquiesce to mediocrity. 
Pause and take a clear-eyed view of the true value of what you offer. 
Bring in quality thinkers to work with you.
To challenge you to bring what you do to life for the benefit of your people and your customers.
Now is the time, while everyone else is numb, to turn up the money and people knobs.
To create something exceptional.
Today’s marketplace demands ambitious attempts.

Tom Asacker