I was in Brisbane on Thursday and had a great opportunity to catch up with some friends. One of them, Vince Aisthorpe, related an anecdote from Tom O’Toole who founded the Beechworth Bakery, one of the largest in the southern hemisphere. The anecdote was about why many Government agencies don’t seem to get much done.
“They aim for perfection, and end up going ready, aim, aim, aim. They aren’t prepared to fire because they cannot be certain they will hit the target. Sometimes you just have to fire: you might not hit the target, but you might find out where the target is.”
Apart from being a good anecdote, this reveals one of the common problems organisations have in dealing with complex problems. Thinking that they need to know the ‘correct answer’ in advance, they suffer ‘paralysis by analysis’ because complex problems tend not to have one single correct answer.
About Mark Schenk
Mark works globally with senior leadership teams to improve their ability to communicate clearly and memorably. He has been a Director of Anecdote since 2004 and helped the company grow into one of the world’s leading business storytelling consultancies. Connect with Mark on:
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