Can you afford not to attend?

If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a thousand times, “I can’t afford to attend.”

That’s the first thing I hear when I ask people, “Will you join me at Accelerate Results 2016?”  People from a wide range of organizations and industries all respond the same.

Now, most of these people don’t even know how much it costs when they tell me they can’t afford it.  For all they know, it could be free…It isn’t.  They just immediately say they can’t. As a change coach, I know to question any obstacle that jumps so quickly to mind.

Then follows a Socratic dialogue roughly like this:

So you’ve asked to attend?

No, but I know there is no budget.

If there isn’t room in the current budget, what would it take to get the budget increased or go over budget?

I don’t know.  I’ve never asked to go over budget.

What do you think they’d say if you did?

They’d say the project can’t afford overruns.

So if you can’t afford overruns, does that mean you always hit your delivery dates?

No. We are often late.

Are you often late by greater than a week?

Yes, usually.

Do you lose revenue or functionality when you are late?

Yes, of course.

Do you have a rough number in mind of how much it costs your project for each week late?

Yeah, I guess.

Then you can afford cost overruns?

Yes, apparently.

Now, is the cost of being late higher or lower than the cost of attending Accelerate Results?

Oh, much higher.  At least 10 times, if not 100 times higher.

Yet you still can’t afford to attend?

…. <silence>

In the end, each person has to decide what they will do.  All I can do is help people see that what is holding them back is often as they say, “penny-wise and pound-foolish.”

There’s a wealth of better results waiting for you.  All you need to do is decide to do something different.  If you want ideas for what that something different might be, why not attend Accelerate Results 2016?

Can you afford not to?

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