Recently our Prime Minister announced his commitment to the Very Fast Train, promising new jobs and growth by uniting Australia through a modern, world-class high speed rail system.
That makes him the fifth Australian PM to have this idea since 1981. It’s already been the subject of intensive feasibility studies in 1988, 1998 and 2010, all of which concluded it’d cost too much, take too long and collapse without massive tax breaks. Six additional studies between 2004 and 2010 suggested it might work between two cities… but no more.
Yet here it is again; the idea that refuses to die. Like a zombie.
Every institution has at least one zombie: a project that never quite got up but never really went away either; an idea that wanders the corridors searching for fresh brains to feed on.
So why don’t some ideas die? Could it be because they were never properly killed in the first place?
See, no-one likes to admit their mistakes (especially in politics) so it’s usually less embarrassing to quietly ‘bury’ a bad idea in private than kill it publicly. But when ideas just ‘disappear’ like Hitler, the Romanovs or Darth Vader no-one’s sure where they went, so the door is always open for a sequel.
The Return of the Zombie.
Are zombies cluttering up your organisation? Maybe it’s time to kill them off once and for all; take a moment to publicly execute and bury ideas that should have been put out of their misery long ago.
After all, our brains are for thinking, not eating.