Residing inside an organization, like a family or a business, can be much like inhabiting the inside of a pipe. Hard to know what is going on outside of it. Pipes have two parts, the inside and the outside. You can’t be in both places at the same time. How often have you watched someone inside an organization do or say the most ineffective things, all the while thinking he was accomplishing the exact opposite?
Unfortunately, this is very common. And it is very destructive.
Today, while driving down Main Street of my hometown, I noticed that a new business had opened up in one of the store fronts. I pulled up in front of the door, and tried to deduce what sort of business it was. I could not tell. I saw a graphic with some flowery writing on it, and an orange sign that said ‘Grand Opening.’ My best guess was a hair dresser. As a business coach, I’m very interested in meeting new business owners, so I decided to walk in. The walls were lined with knick knacks for sale. So much for the hair theory.
The signage on the front of the store was completely confusing. It was also very, very small. And almost illegible, because of the font. I very nicely introduced myself, and tried to help the nice woman who is running the store understand her peril, which is that her days as a retail business are numbered, unless she fix her problem, and quick.
She was barely interested in my free advice, and surprised that I didn’t understand what her store was all about. She looked at me as if to say ‘what planet are you from?’ Well, I thought, its the same planet all your customers come from.
She is stuck inside her pipe. It will soon become the tomb of her business.