If you do things right…

“If you do things right people won’t be sure you’ve done anything at all.”

          – Terry Pratchett

I just remembered this quote. I think it is from Terry Pratchett’s book Small Gods but I’m not 100% sure. Imagine two people working on two different projects. One of them manages the project without any problems and delivers on deadline. In the other project everything seems to be falling apart but with some extra effort he manages to finish it but a bit after deadline. Who will get the most praise?

We don’t know if the second project was more challenging and we can never find out if the projects would have run differently if we had switched the two people managing them. Today’s society seem to reward people who are problem solvers, not the people who manages to fix the problems before they appear. We can see this in fiction as well; it would be quite a boring book or movie if everything went exactly to plan in them. Organisation’s will be very unbalanced if we only promote and reward people who are problem solvers instead of problem preventers.