Wednesday, February 03, 2010


It does not matter that the individual with boots on the ground is constantly evolving, always adapting to changing circumstances; or that the audience is always dynamic in their needs, preferences and levels of engagement, never static. What might have worked for one audience is rarely going to work for another; what didn't work before sometimes when taken back to the shop for tweaking could work wonders for a fresh new audience. An organization that offers such variations year after year means that it must be doing Something right, especially if the variations show a discernible improvement over time.

An organization, on the other hand, cannot accept this "Something" to remain undefined. To the organization, an undefined "Something" is like having an itch it cannot scratch. How will it know to replicate its benchmark-topping successes if there isn't Something to pin down as the Method/Best Practice/Framework/Model or whatever else you might want to call it as the One Key Factor that made it all happen?

Individuals simply adapt, change, survive, and are grateful to simply live to see another sunrise. Change is the only Constant, Luck or lack thereof messes up carefully calculated odds, Sh*t happens; so attempting to attribute certain habits, behaviours or practices with life-preserving qualities is a complete puzzle for the individual to fathom. Nevertheless, that was precisely the exercise for this afternoon's after-school activity.

From our discussions, I came to understand what Corporate was getting at. It didn't really matter what all our disparate individuals were doing on the ground, whether we were lighting lamps or filling empty vessels or saving starfish or dodging bullets or fighting fires. What Corporate wants is for all of us individuals to provide the same answer, sing the same tune, dance the same dance to the same piper's tune if and when someone asks Something about our organization. That's all.

Now it has just become clear why the answer to "life the universe and everything" is "42". As long as everyone in the organization agrees that the answer is "42", "42" IS and henceforth shall ever be the answer.

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