Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Mokita in the Mirror

While working on a project for a community group, I ran headfirst into Stephen Covey's observation that as soon as we think the problem is "out there," that's the problem.

Meeting after meeting dealt with ways to fix everything but ourselves. The result, as I told one executive, was the organization resembled a 500 pound man who announces that he's going to get on the Olympic track team. All of the earlier plans were doomed to failure because the organization was designed - unintentionally, of course - to fail.

It was a mokita moment; mokita being a Papua New Guinean term for "The truth that everyone knows but no one speaks." People had been scurrying about buying track shoes for the 500 pound man, selecting the color of his shorts, and picking a press secretary while ignoring the central fact that there was no way he was going to get on the track team.

I pass this along because there are probably a few mokita moments that you've encountered or will run up against. When the time comes, your view may be blurred by the fog bank of frenetic activity that does not acknowledge a central truth.

1 comment:

John said...

This year's mokita moment is in the health care and insurance reform issue. The single most significant upward driver of health care costs is not insurance, technology, research, federal policies or even physicians. It is patients and families who insist on getting only the best, the fastest and the most of everything available. All that, we have been led to believe, will do for us what we must do for ourselves: be rational.