Go To The Shed

Loving the Kill the Hippos thought from Matt Brittin of Google which Arif wrote about here


For those of you that missed Arif’s blog it is not about attacking endangered species but is the theory that the world wide web allows you to contradict the Hippo ie the Highest Paid Person’s Opinion with online data. The problem in actuality is that all data is open to interpretation, and the wisdom of the crowd can sometimes be the idiocy of the mob. But there is so much to be said for challenging the Hippo that it ought to be part of every business person’s training as they progress through our industry. But I’d in fact like to build on the thought (without hurting any more animals) by saying it is time to go to the SHED.

Watching The Apprentice last night we were pushed to discuss as a family how everyone kept hugging each other only moments before and after stabbing each other in the back. This saccharine effusiveness oozes hypocrisy and the tendency to it surely both diminishes genuine affection and undermines trust.

I call for us to go to the SHED – Stop Hugging – Embrace Disagreement. (Yes I know it lacks the elegance of the Hippo).

First it would be much better viewing on TV if everyone was open about how they felt about it other on the show. Secondly there is a point to be made about real life. The obsession with apparent harmony in the workplace can undermine people’s ability to have a decent argument about things in public and reach a better decision via some elegant dialectic.

You arrive at better, smarter and more profitable decisions if you can have a good fight about a series of opposing views. This is easier with champions of different opinions having a passionate debate than if you’re trying to do it on your own.

Now there is no reason why you can’t still love the person with the opposing opinion to your own, but there is a tendency for the appearance of harmony to be preserved at all times and at all costs. Personally I think this is bad for the energy of the meeting. If you’re in a meeting where the objective is for everyone to look like they’re agreeing even if they are not, then you are in a meeting where everyone’s time is being wasted. If there is a conflict – get it out the closet. And spend more time in the SHED.

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