Imagine this. You’re a bus driver and people are waiting for your bus to arrive. They need to go home after a tiring day in the office. It’s the last bus of the day. When you arrive at the bus stop, you quickly open up the door. Then you tell the passengers that you don’t have a driving licence. But you tell them not to worry, you know how to drive this bus. How many of those passengers do you think would take the risk of staying on board?
If I were one of those passengers, I would quickly step out. For me, the risk isn’t worth taking. There’s no way to know that I’ll reach home safely. I wouldn’t let you drive me if you didn’t have a driving licence. Not in a million years.
Now, in a similar scenario, you are a manager. You’re entrusted to manage an organisation in a VUCA world, but you don’t have any formal management training. What would be your chances of managing the organisation successfully?
Accidental project managers
Now let me tell you a true story: Back in the year 2000, I was a project manager responsible for the Instructional Systems Design of a multi-billion-ringgit New Generation Patrol Vessel (NGPV) project in Malaysia. I had formal training, certification and experience in the Royal Malaysian Naval Training System (RMNTS). Since the NGPV contract clearly mentioned the requirement of RMNTS, I believed that I had the skills to manage the training project.
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