Wednesday, February 20, 2008


You'd think there is something rather odd with a airplane pilot who, after surviving a crash, insists that there was nothing wrong with his plane, the weather, other nearby planes, or the actions he'd taken.

Odd, but such behavior is not uncommon when among executives and managers.

Problem? We don't really have a problem. We've called you in to help us with some undefined situation and, now that we think about it, our status - here, move that rudder so I can crawl out - may not be a problem at all. Do you have any bandages? And there's certainly nothing here that we can't figure out. Where'd that smoke come from?

These conversations remind me of a more enlightened man who declared, "I tried this and I tried that and then it dawned on me: My best thinking got me here. Maybe it's time for another plan."

It can take quite a while - and often some external pressure - before some people will admit that they need another plan. Even using the word "problem" can be a barrier. In Bedside Manner 101, consultants learn to talk of challenges, situations, issues, matters, and current status.

Whichever term is selected, however, the person with the bandage on his head and the wing tucked under his arm will have to try out some new thinking.

As they say in the law, the thing speaks for itself.


Anonymous said...

Step One - Admit and accept my powerlessness.

The other steps apply as well although a good adviser (consultant) might need to substitute for God in some instances.

Michael Wade said...

The Engineer,

Hear! Hear!