I’ll Do It My Way

by Karen on September 23, 2011

Everywhere I turn, I observe people taking short cuts to problem solving, side-stepping the opportunity and responsibility to get involved and help make improvements.  Instead they throw up their hands and seem to be saying “I’ll do it my way!” Why?

A social/recreation organization I belong to was at one time considered one of the best places to meet new people and build long-lasting friendships.  Events were organized to ensure if you wanted to be involved, improve your skills and meet new people, you just sign up.  If the events weren’t meeting member needs, there was a strong desire to meet with the leaders and fix it.  Most recently, however, small groups of “discontented” folks have chosen to solve their problem by forming their own exclusive group.  Outcome: an organization that is not welcoming to new people, excludes (intentionally or unintentionally) others and ultimately creates a disconnected community.

Less than a year ago a client was excited to be outsourcing a part of the business to a partner hoping to leverage the superior experience of that partner and free up time and resources to concentrate on their core business.  Now, this same organization is taking back the activity because the partner doesn’t value their assets like they had hoped.

A client listened intently to the learnings of a discovery we completed.  It made sense to him, he wanted to know more about how to execute accordingly, took notes and went back to his desk to give it a try.  Three days later he asked to meet and review his work.  It was as if he didn’t really buy-in to our recommendations.  When I asked why, his response was, “Well I agree completely with your findings, it all makes sense, but if I changed my approach it would take too long and it wouldn’t look like my work anyway.”

A young friend just entering college, in a program of her choice and passion, is already “hating” it.  The instructors are well qualified and respected.  It is a program that is small and as such is fully attentive to individual student needs and provides great opportunity to work with fellow students.  However, this learner doesn’t like being told what to do and as such, just isn’t doing it.  She can’t see value in listening and learning from successful leaders in her chosen field.  She wants to make “her own mark.”

What is the common thread in all of these conversations?  Is it the missing desire to collaborate, listen to others, learn from others, and work together for a better solution?  Or, is it something to do with the idea of the “me generation”?  Or is it simply that people are too busy to relate?

Frustrating.

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