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We know these things

One of the more difficult things to explain under cross examination I think would be why, when you knew something to be so wrong, you still went and did it. 

We hear about the extenuating circumstances, the temporary insanity, the wasn't thinking clearly or the simple cop out - I just don't know, I simply can't explain it.

I know there are circumstances where we will react in a way that is not in line with what we know to be the best way to tackle something.  What I just don't get is when clever people do the same stupid things over and over especially when they clearly are not happy with their current and past results. 

What makes it worse is when they know what is needed but still don't do the right things.  Red mist, possibly in a once off situation but extended fogginess, month after month, year after year?

I can list many situations where we see companies doing the opposite of known best practice each and every day. 

These areas of organisational well-being that are clearly known but rarely executed include succession planning, knowledge sharing, communicating clearly, showing appreciation, respecting differences, standing back, treating the core of a problem, stretching beliefs, challenging conditioned limitations, setting others up for success, etc.

Our approach to organisational development is thus aimed more at removing stupidity and other barriers than developing knowledge. 

Please take the following stupidity test based on a selection of globally accepted "clever statements":

  • Do you know that failing to plan is planning to fail but you are operating without a plan?      
    Yes   /   No
  • Do you know that you should do the important things first to have a chance of reducing levels of urgency or firefighting but you are running from one fire to another without stopping?      
    Yes   /   No
  • Do you know that a team is a group of diverse people who work together to achieve a common goal but your organisation is riddled with people operating in silos?      
    Yes   /   No
  • Do you know the concept of opportunity costs associated with either not responding to a new idea or not fixing a known problem in a timely fashion but you turn a blind eye through your "lack of time" excuse?      
    Yes   /   No
  • Do you know that your people are your biggest asset but you treat them like numbers and lack the desire, time or energy to nurture them?      
    Yes   /   No
  • Do you know that effective meetings are critical to your company's success but your meetings have become a waste of everyone's time?      
    Yes   /   No
  • Do you know that when you point a finger at someone else, three point back at you but blaming others has become your default response when things don't work out for you?      
    Yes   /   No
  • Do you know that honesty is the best policy, but even your answers above are not a true reflection of your reality?      
    Yes   /   No
  • Do you know that insanity is often described as doing the same things while expecting a different result but you are probably going to do the same things again and again while you either have problems currently holding you back, or a sense of potential you have not yet reached?      
    Yes   /   No
  • Do you know somebody you trust that has put team members through training programmes offered by The Ripple Effect but you believe that your situation is so unique that a generic programme just wouldn't work for you?      
    Yes   /   No


Your score: Yes answers ___  No answers ___


How to read your score:

Anything less than 10 "No" answers means that in some way your organisation is feeling the impact of neglecting one of the basics of success listed above.


Mission-critical knowledge that is not applied is as good as not knowing at all.

We don't see Ripple as trainers; we see ourselves as blockage removers.


By Louis Gerke

Development Facilitator - The Ripple Effect


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