Thursday, August 9, 2012

It's wrong on so many levels

Maybe I'm too dumb to fathom some things, but how often have I heard this statement in business? Usually when someone says 'it's wrong on so many levels', I can only see one reason why it is so. What are the other levels? How many levels form the threshold at which you decide not to do something?

I'm sorry if this entry includes more questions than narrative, but I fear I might be missing out on some very big chunks in the formulation of business strategy or, more accurately, the drivers of rejecting a strategy. The most worrying thing about this is that, if you're part of a collective of supposedly wise heads,when someone says this, everyone else in the room nods in agreement.

Am I the only one at the meeting who is one dimensional in their thinking? Others can clearly penetrate the obvious first level to explore other levels. No. I think the answer may be that I may be the most savvy in the room in being able to see through this fraudulent comment.

Either the person saying it is embracing the entire collective by using 'so many levels' to cover their own incapacity to recognize the other intellectual arguments others may have. A less generous explanation may be that they know something is wrong with an idea, but cannot place their finger on it, so invite others to fill in the gaps.

I'm afraid I'm going to have to add this to the Forbes list of most disliked cliches used in business. I am perfectly happy in my simplistic, superficial world to accept a single wrong is enough to convince me not to pursue something.

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