Save Us But Do Not Change Us

One of the worst kinds of Client engagement is when the unspoken mandate is; Save us! But do not change anything.

What are we going to do
What are we going to do!
The same thing!
When are we going to do it!
Now!

These are situations where the results of failure are acknowledged, but the causes are being deliberately ignored. In some cases, the causes aspire to be ignored they are so far from the Client’s mind.It is very hard to admit that what you are doing is no longer working, particularly if it succeeded in the past.

These are Client’s that know something must change, but believe it is an external factor (it’s the Internet, the hurricane, the government, the illuminati, etc.).  Their focus is on what they cannot control.These are very tough engagements.

You cannot save people from themselves. No matter your intention or desired outcome, pushing rather than leading will force you to use tactics that, in the end, destroy whatever good you hoped to achieve.

If people are not ready to change, then what do you do?  It is always possible to provide some help.  It is not very rewarding when you know your effort will only delay the inevitable collapse at best.  It is the management of decay, not growth.

If possible, you may want to wait.  Some organizations cannot declare that what they are doing no longer works until it all falls apart for good.  Only then will the mandate become; Help us save ourselves.  Waiting sometimes means the Client disappears because of their collapse.   If they survive, then they are ready to rebuild.

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