Philosopher’s Stone – The Formula for Everything!

First published in Danish at No Crisis-bloggen.

Philosophers StoneIt is no small thing, a new management or process improvement method can accomplish! Typically it can solve all problems, as easy as pie.

As long as you master a few simple tools, you will soon see how the company is going to flourish, overtake the competition and attract the best employees and the most affluent customers.

When the method is first presented, charismatic people attract managers’ attention on leadership seminars. Basically, it is always “exclusively for leaders” who can then bring the idea home and launch it – with the help of consultants, since none of the employees in the company knows anything about this fantastic new method.

After some years have passed and the first implementation projects have failed, some new charismatic people show up, speaking to the middle managers and specialists. “It is obvious” they say, “that it went wrong, because you must remember also to do this and that”. And that is something middle managers and specialists like to hear, because now they can run a project without, or with just a little, initial help from consultants and get all the honor and glory that comes from being the ones who resolve a previous failure.

Such projects can be launched several times, as none of those responsible have the needed power or resources to get all the way through it, and after some time there is always a competing middle manager ready to take over and try again.

At some point, usually much too late, the idea dies out. The method was no good, it is now believed, and there is no shortage of good explanations why it obviously had to go that way. “We told you so”, there are always some who say. Often those who refused to assist in getting the method to work. If they acted as they allegedly spoke, then that might be explaining the failure?

But never mind, because now there is a new method coming up! The managers are the first to hear about the new approach at special leadership seminars, and it can really solve all problems, as easy as pie! So they bring the idea home and launch it…

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3 Responses to Philosopher’s Stone – The Formula for Everything!

  1. That is a very good summary of what does happen. I was laughing to myself – how many times I have seen this cycle. There is no one size fits all model. Even when we have tried to copy Toyota – we did just that copy. We got the what, but were missing the WHY. As Simon Sinek would state – we buy how you sell it. We need the why of the what for total success.

    Very well done article.

    • Thank you very much. You are right, it is all about the why – reasons to be found through sound analysis. And, of course: there is no silver bullet, no matter how much we all want to believe it. Sellers of miracle medicine have an easy time 🙂

  2. Pingback: Which Leadership Approach is Better? | The No Crisis Blog

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