More Buckets!

Thu Aug 30 9:11:46 2007 EDT (-0400 GMT)

More Buckets
In life one encounters challenges, sometimes even full-on problems. My experience is that these challenges often face individuals inside of a large organization and organizations themselves. There are 6 distinct types of responses and characters that I’ve encountered in these situations and I like to express them in the metaphor of a sinking ship that has sprung a leak.

  1. Fix the leak: The most rarified group is those who believe that the solution is to patch the hole. This may not be the easiest solution, the quickest, or something that can done by an individual alone, but this never daunts those who want to fix the leak — more often they’re stymied by the following individuals.
  2. More buckets! Though misguided I have a soft spot for these types naiveté. These people are certain that the answer to keeping this ship with a leak from sinking is to bring on more people with more buckets! These people see water on the ship deck, won’t stand for it, and know exactly how it can be fixed: get more people with buckets!
  3. Technology Solution: These individuals assess the situation for you and recommend that what your ship needs is a brand new bilge pump that only they can provide one of the sophistication that your ship requires. These technologies can be leveraged to affect a new cutting edge solution – often a brand new nuclear powered super bilge-pump is recommended. It is worth noting that the pump often arrives late and in the form of a small, unreliable gasoline-powered sump-pump and our technologist isn’t sure where you can get gasoline but knows that he/she doesn’t have any. At this point the suggesting of a new boat tends to appear.
  4. What leak? These individuals are not slaves to a challenge, they do not let its existence force them to acknowledge reality. They control their own reality and are able to remove the problem from it. This solution of achieves its goal the quickest.
  5. Lowering expectations to meet the water line: The ship used to deliver 100 tons of green bananas from Morocco to Miami. Now it delivers 10 tons of wet brown bananas to Madrid. Those who have lowered their expectations can apparently swallow anything.
  6. The passengers: Some fill the lifeboats, some demand answers and accountability, and some just rearrange the deck chairs. In any case control over their fate has been put in the hands of those above them.

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