Stone Arch Bridge
Stone Arch Bridge from the Endless Bridge. photo ©2015 Ross Willits

Murphy’s Law

Ross has the rare ability to suspend rushing to the “easy” answer when tackling complex problems. He is careful to take that extra bit of time to explore and understand the root issue.

He is then open-minded about possible solutions, and strategically crafts a response that not just solves the problem, but prevents it from happening again (and again).

— Lisa Tabor, Culture Brokers

I remember hearing a lecture a number of years ago given at MIT by Edward Murphy III in which he talked about the  principle that his father was known for—Murphy’s Law. The Law is commonly understood to be the fatalistic notion “whatever can go wrong, will go wrong,” but he said it should instead be viewed in engineering terms—if a system has a basic flaw, that’s where you should look for it to fail, and address the flaw before the system does fail.

Proper engineering of a system, then, means analyzing each step to be sure that risks are understood, planned for and addressed.

And that is exactly how I approach each new challenge:

  • Learn all I can about the situation and intended outcomes
  • Plot out multiple routes to achieve the goal
  • Analyze each for stumbling blocks
  • Choose the best route among them
  • Engineer around, over, or through the remaining blocks before they become fatal flaws
  • Evaluate the system in action to build greater efficacy

I have applied this system in a number of areas with great success.

  • Strategic planning
  • Program and organizational budgeting
  • Event planning
  • Project management
  • Evaluation and outcomes measurement

Contact me today to discuss how I can help you achieve your goals.


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