"Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat." Sun Tzu may have been talking about war but he was really offering a chicken or the egg question.
Businesses hire people based on their CVs which they insist must be detailed, going back to the first job delivering papers and listing every hobby, passion and character-building activity. They do that because they hope that by looking at the hard skills: the degree, the certification, the schools their employees went to and the Colleges they attended, they will somehow be able to divine the soft skills.
What if I were to write my entire blog in comic sans font? What would change? From the perspective of its content nothing. The words, knowledge and expertise would be exactly the same. Yet the perception of its value would change because of the associations with the font. Readers would assume, quite rightly, that the intention is less than serious or that there is a stunt hidden within the execution, somewhere.
Fatigue is a factor. It takes a toll. Processes created to maintain standards slip, and no one quite sees it. Mission statements meant to create a moral direction, fade and become marketing positions. Cynicism sets in. Bottom line mentality rules. Career arcs become primary motivations. Money is the only benchmark.
With few exceptions, most businesses are led by people destined to let their charges down at the most critical moment. Some will call it pragmatism and praise it. Others will explain it as exigency, doing what the situation demands to deliver shareholder value. There are a few more labels that follow these two: downsizing, streamlining, retrenching, scaling back.
Heroes play a psychologically archetypal role designed to create modes of behavior which guide those around them. Good heroes use the power of transformation not only to change themselves for the better, but also to transform the world they live in. In the classic hero journey, the newly transformed hero eventually transforms society in significant and positive ways. He is changed and so are those along his path and those they touch, in turn.
Every decision has a cost. When you decide to do something, simultaneously you have decided to not do something else. This means that we behave according to some guidelines and within specific parameters. They define who we are and, more importantly, who we become.
Business is there to make money. No one can argue with that. It’s like saying: “we need to breathe oxygen to stay alive”. But breathing oxygen is not the only thing we need to do in order to live and a business doesn’t need to just make money in order to survive.