Last week I blogged about 'Reaching out'. I tried to explain why I think it's so important, especially in organizations. This led to another thought. It's something that I came to see during my previous life as a consultant, but actually already knew while working in a large company. It's about 'shipping'.

To me shipping is about delivery results. The weird thing is that I find most people think about results as being a huge results. So many don't deliver results at all. They think and talk endlessly about what the result will be. But never really produce results or versions of the result. And this thinking and talking usually happens in small groups. To others it seems that nothing is happening.

As a consultant I was hired to deliver results. I remember the great clients I've worked for that were absolutely thrilled results would be delivered, every 1 to 2 weeks. Progress! Some of them were capable of doing so by themselves but didn't have time, so they sourced it to us. But many times the clients had no idea how to deliver results.

To be clear, I'm not saying this is a shame. Apparently, just like with reaching out, shipping is a special skill. Not everybody can do it.

Shipping is intrinsically hard. For one because when I show a result I get feedback. It could be positive, but there's negative feedback as well. And we - I - don't like that. So we keep the idea to ourselves for a little while longer. Or don't share it all in the end.

What really helped me ship is to divide work into smaller results and share in-between results with people I trust. More and more I learned to share versions of the results with broader audiences as well. I've experienced that the criticism you get is usually very helpful and help you get to results much quicker. And, it also prevents you from reinventing the wheel.

Are you a good shipper? How do you make sure you deliver results?

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