The perils of boxed solutions

John Porcaro‘s blog points towards this entry on coaching knowledge workers by Jim McGee. I particularly liked this paragraph:

…the industrial mindset and perhaps human nature to some degree encourages us to sort problems into the bins we have learned to be comfortable with. To the client, their problem is unique. To the consultant it looks a lot like the last fifteen they’ve dealt with. This is why a client turns to consultants in the first place, but there’s an important shift in attitude that separates the best consultants from the rest. It’s a shift from shoving a problem into a particular standardized box to drawing on a deeper experience base to focus on the unique aspects of the problem at hand.

It’s human to want solutions in neat boxes, but neatness often drives out humanity. The Japanese make haikus in praise of the “messiness” of the cherry blossom. The rest of the article and surrounding cluster of comments is worth a read.

1 thought on “The perils of boxed solutions

  1. Katrina Voysey

    Hi John

    Just started reading your blog today and find it more interesting than I expected (but then I somehow was expected Big Brother in business clothes – which says a lot more about my low expectations than my knowledge of you)!

    I really appreciated our conversation the other day.

    All the best



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