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.


Wally Bock 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?"