Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Needed Attitude

Which of the following attitudes is needed more often in organizations?

"Let's try it!" or "Let's explore the downside."

You can put together a good argument for each side.

The positive thinkers have an attractive "can do" enthusiasm but many firms have been harmed by an optimistic rush into dangerous waters.

On the other hand, while the skeptics can earn their pay by pointing out real drawbacks, they may sink advances that are only achieved by a willingness to assume some risk.

Which is best?

I'll provide the classic consultant's response: It depends. Knowing which way to lean demands a knowledge of the history, leadership, and spirit of the organization as well as the issues at hand.
Any leader who automatically favors either side, however, should be carefully watched.


Anonymous said...

Good post, Michael. I like an "experimental" approach to most things in organizations. If you're considering a course of action, you can usually set up an experiment to test it. The results of your experiment should help you answer both questions.

Michael Wade said...


I like the comment that Eisenhower used to make to his Cabinet: "Let's not be in a hurry to make our mistakes."