Saturday, December 23, 2006

Remedials and Preventives

There are days when I'm convinced that the world is divided between Remedials and Preventives.

Remedials act quickly and then strive to repair any damage. In some cases, they shrug off the damage as the cost of taking action.

Preventives act with deliberation in order to avoid damage. They sometimes apply so much deliberation that the benefit of prompt action is lost.

Remedials speak up and then apologize or correct. They can upset others and then minutes later be shocked to find their audience is still angry.

Preventives filter their speech in order to avoid offense or inaccuracy. They may be so diplomatic that their point is hidden.

Remedials take few precautionary efforts and often lack fall-back plans.

Preventives are "worst case scenario" thinkers and have at least one fall-back plan.

Remedials see few options and are impatient to act. They want to get things done.

Preventives see many options. They want to get things done right.

Each side has its virtues and vices. I know which camp I'm in. Where are you?


Anonymous said...

That is a very interesting post, I think I am mainly preventive, but just like a remedial, i have no fall back plans! I do like fast action though, although more in the macro way as opposed to the day to day todos.

However, one thing is that I realized that the 2 types of people, unless they understand and appreciate each other, can have a VERY hard time working together!

Michael Wade said...

I think you're right. My theory is that preventives and remedials often marry.

Most of us probably slip back and forth between the two types while leaning more toward one than the other. If we recognize our tendency, however, it is easier for us to compensate. Effective management is more like steering a sailboat and adjusting to the winds than it is like setting coordinates and launching a missile. Knowing which direction the wind is blowing can help us adjust and keep on course.