Integrity – When fantasy tries to become our reality

It’s critical to me that I, and Optimetra, demonstrate integrity in everything we do. It’s often hard. Constantly changing requirements, imposed by institutions over which we have no control, make it difficult to keep up. Work products don’t turn out as expected. Things take longer than scheduled because of problems found along the way. And, we might forget to do something we promised, because we have so incredibly much to do. While the challenges are many, we must make every effort to make only those commitments we can keep; live up to our commitments; re-negotiate fairly when life interrupts expectation; and stand firm when others insist on a fantasy.

I call this last the “moment of personal integrity.” It’s the point at which someone in a position of power insists that the project will be completed according to completely unrealistic expectations, while everyone – including those who are masters at doing more with less – realizes there is no way to do so. It’s the idea that something can be done in two months by two people with a $10,000 budget when everyone with expertise agrees that it will take at least six months, 10 people, and $100,000. Accepting the first set of terms does no more than delay pain. In two months, either the two people will have quit; little progress will have been made; or the budget will be gone. Someone is going to be fired, and it won’t be the person who wanted the impossible results. Take a position; be creative in looking for great, innovative solutions; but be honest about what can and cannot be done.

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