How to Maintain Forward Movement

Organizations and people always have trajectory. They never stand still. Standing still while the world changes means you’re falling backward.

Falling backward means you’re becoming irrelevant.  On the other hand, forward movement drives you toward relevance.

Four basics for maintaining forward movement.

  1. Go with what you know. Don’t let what you don’t know control your decisions.
  2. Move forward with those currently on the team. Don’t wait for those you wish you had.
  3. Move forward with passionate advocates. Don’t wait for those you wish had passion.
  4. If you’re reacting, it may be too late. Move forward or die.

Five ways to respond to those who reject forward movement.

  1. Respect, listen, and learn from those who disagree.
  2. Honor the past.
  3. Maintain alignment with values.
  4. Be inclusive.
  5. Encourage and heal everywhere.


Leaders define the future and then create it. Drucker put it this way, “The best way to predict the future is to create it.”

Forward is life. Backward is death.

What’s forward?

Who defines forward? It’s not who, it’s what. Mission and vision inform, guide, and fuel forward movement.

How much?

How much confidence is enough to pull the trigger and move forward?

My answer came during a conversation with Michael Linton, former Chief Marketing Officer for Best Buy and Ebay. Michael suggests the 70% rule.  If you are 70% sure it’s going to work go for it.

70% confidence is enough confidence.

This isn’t a scientific formula. You’re still dealing with the “gut factor.” However, Michael’s 70% rule makes sense to me.


If you are a pessimist perhaps you need a 60% rule. If you are an optimist perhaps your rule should be 80% confidence.

Not too late.

What if you’ve already fallen backward? Working through setbacks is forward movement – again. Keep moving forward.


What other suggestions might help a person or an organization maintain forward movement?