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Beyond the Conference Room Solution

December 21, 2012

Blog Mission

"When I have fully decided that a result is worth getting I go ahead of it and make trial after trial until it comes." - Thomas A. Edison

Let’s start with an explanation of the title, Beyond The Conference Room Solution. In all of my workshops and in many of my lectures, I refer to the phrase, The Conference Room Solution as a far too common approach used by organizations to solve many of their most challenging issues.

The process looks something like this: 1. the senior management team becomes aware of a particularly challenging (but often previously solved) issue. 2. The leaders gather in a conference room and proffer wisdom on how they had solved this issue in the past or how it could definitively be solved now. 3. White smoke appears followed by the ringing of the bells of St Peter’s Basilica which announce to the organization that a decision has been made. 4. The leaders then form an implementation team whose responsibility it is to execute the solution. 5. The team reports that the solution was implemented according the specifications given by the Executive Team. 6. One year later, a similar problem remerges and the process repeats.

I call this The Conference Room Solution and I define it as a process by which leaders make decisions with little understanding of how their solution will ultimately solve the problem (or whether their solution is the most appropriate fix). They do however generally have an innate (and most often accurate) sense of why the problem occurred. In order for organizations to solve their most challenging issues in a “one and done” fashion, they must have a deep understanding of both how their solution will solve the problem, and why the problem occurred in the first place. This blog will hopefully provide insight into how organizations large and small can move beyond the conference room to develop and implement impactful and lasting change.

Next question – why does the blog’s tag line include “the pursuit of failure”? After all, who would ever consciously pursue failure? Truth be told, I encourage every one of my clients to actively and aggressively pursue failure. Far too many of my clients promote an “avoid risk/failure at all costs” mentality that snuffs out any spark of innovation and creativity. By contrast, I try help them foster an entrepreneurial culture where enlightened experimentation and rapid piloting is required. Since experimentation, by its very definition, means trying something new and unproven – and acknowledging that you cannot reliably predict the outcome, the very process is fraught with failure. A tolerance to mistakes inevitably associated with trying anything new and freedom-to-fail environment is the key to eventual success and breakthrough discovery.

So why write a blog? Part of it is a fascination with a relatively new feature of the internet. Part of it is to try out the medium and see how it might work for my company’s clients. I suppose part of it is to generate some interest in my company, The Klapper Institute, which in my extremely biased opinion is one of the most interesting and innovative management consulting firms in the world.

My one hesitation about starting a blog is that I believe that blogs can be extremely self-indulgent and are often authored by people who believe that there are large populations out there who are genuinely interested in reading what they have to say. I have no idea if that is in fact the case here. But I’ll give it a go and try not to go crazy with ridiculous postings.

So, I will probably post periodically about the trials and tribulations of being an entrepreneur and my (mostly) tribulations as a management consultant. But I may also post on other things periodically that match my interests: book reviews, my travels, the state of my New York sports teams, wonderful restaurants, and maybe even the occasional political commentary that will likely tweak many of my New Canaan neighbors.

So, here we go...enjoy!

Blog Mission

"When I have fully decided that a result is worth getting I go ahead of it and make trial after trial until it comes." - Thomas A. Edison

Let’s start with an explanation of the title, Beyond The Conference Room Solution. In all of my workshops and in many of my lectures, I refer to the phrase, The Conference Room Solution as a far too common approach used by organizations use to solve many of their most challenging issues.

Read More »
Q-Loop

The Q-Loop by Brian Klapper

How does an established organization filled with long-time employees, a deeply entrenched culture, and a history of drawn-out planning and development cycles become nimble, innovative, and responsive in today’s challenging business climate? Published by Bibliomotion, The Q-Loop: The Art & Science of Lasting Corporate Change delivers an actionable strategy to help your company rapidly achieve lasting transformational change.

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