Sunday, October 26, 2008

Solution's Problems

Scene: Client Meeting
Objective: To solve a pressing problem.
Related Objective: To keep the solution from creating problems of equal or greater gravity.
Common Problem: Forgetting the Related Objective.

"And then?" should be asked frequently in such meetings in order to prevent the myopia that can set in once a solution is in sight.

It's the old game of unintended consequences. To paraphrase Dee Hock, what we intend may happen, but what we do not intend will happen.


Anonymous said...

A great post Michael. A fellow I sat on a board with years ago named Bob Romeis would ask that question this way: "If we approve this, what will happen?" It was amazing how often the answer to that question resulted in a quick re-thinking of the action we were about to take.

Michael Wade said...

Thanks, Wally.

We need more people like Bob on boards.

I recall that a member of the New Hampshire legislature used to stand up during debate on all major legislation and ask, "Where are we going to get the money?"