You don’t need no mirror to your problems

There is a folk saying in my local language, “You don’t need a mirror to see a wound on your hand” and this aptly describes extremely well the problems I see in many organizations and teams I work with. A lot of organizations want speed, agility, efficiency and a host of other benefits – to potentially squeeze the daylights out of their people for more.

“You don’t need a mirror to see a wound on your hand

— Old Tamil saying

However, many of the organizational problems do not need “big data” or “big consultants” or “employee engagement surveys” to feret out. These while useful, just keep muddling the playing field and often lead to change initiatives that die before the next set of problems are identified. This charade goes on as a rinse and repeat – year after year.

Most organizational problem are actually “small data” – these are stored in the corridors where people wander around, in the heads of the people who work in their little unventilated cubicles and discussed in detail around the water-cooler and the coffee-machines. The problems are self-evident. For lack of mechanisms to engage people consistently, listen to what they have to say, sense the patterns of turmoil and act on this pain, this rich “small data” is left to die in the dustbins of the human brains – often being unheard, swirling around in misery and lack of engagement.

Expensive coaches are brought in to train, consult, direct change and be asked to understand, interpret and hold a mirror to the organizational problems and also solve for them with their limited hindsight that they bring from the outside. Of course, these coaches jump to do just that, these are juicy opportunities to shy away from, why the heck would they not want to bill bucks when there are problems a-plenty to solve, bill and taketh the money away?

So, the answers are simple. Just listen to your system and its people for a start. Don’t judge, explain or interpret. Act on what you hear, perhaps there might start of a path to salvation…


2 thoughts on “You don’t need no mirror to your problems

  1. Pingback: You don’t need no mirror to your problems

  2. Pingback: You don’t need no mirror to your problems –

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