Are we solving the right problem?



Oftentimes as an objective observer, I notice things that just don’t add up. I was reading an article lately where a parent was concerned about their child being too short for his age and asked the columnist if HGH (human grow hormone) treatments might help bioengineer his child’s normalcy?

For him to come to the conclusion that height is the problem and thus seek a solution to remedy that, seems to parallel a lot of other problems we try to solve in the world. In the respective legacies of Prince, Napoleon, Socrates and numerous other “short” giants, it may be obvious that this parent’s POV is a little distorted, but what if the child was your business, and “too short” was your current strategic diagnosis?

Take network TV for instance. It’s interesting to see otherwise working TV shows that glam up with beautiful cast members because another show with the same is a few ratings ahead. Even though the viewers can spot the “jump the shark” attempts before inevitable show cancellation time and again. The same is true of the acquisition frenzy around social networking spaces like the recent MySpace buy, even though having users in a network is no indicator of either loyalty or a real revenue model.

So why do we chase the wrong problems to solve time and again? Sometimes the strategically savvy know better but play the short term game long enough to take the money and run, but usually we just don’t want to see it. Much like the father in the example I started this post with, we are overly preoccupied with the present context rather than see the cause and effect from an broader, more objective viewpoint. I guess that’s probably why guys like me keep working...maybe the obvious just isn’t.

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