Case studies and fables

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Case studies and fables

imagesAfter two weeks of spending all my time on preparing a BIG tender sumbission, I came across a link to this HBR article on Dave Snowden’s blog this morning.

We believe that businesses have become addicted to prescription – mindlessly copying the latest best practice or case study. Very seldom do we come across leaders who are trailblazers, preferring to be the firs ones to venture into a new area.  Usually we’re asked the question: So, where has this been done before?  Everyone seems to want a fail-safe recipe.

I think this paragraph brings the point across quite eloquently …

“This doesn’t mean you should necessarily dismiss the advice offered in success studies. The authors are savvy observers of the business world. Their recommendations can be useful, but only in the way that fables are. No one reads “The Tortoise and the Hare” and, faced with a chance to bet on such a race, chooses the tortoise. Rather, people take from this tale the idea that there is merit in perseverance while arrogance can lead to a downfall. Similarly, success studies should be treated not as how-to manuals but as sources of inspiration and fuel for introspection. Their value is not in what you read in them but what you read intothem.”

By |April 14th, 2009|Categories: Complexity|Tags: , |0 Comments

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