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Sunday, April 26, 2015

'Don't Argue with Me'

     “Don’t argue with me – I have debated before the American Bar Association.”
     That is one of the more efficient discussion killers I have collected in a lifelong study of human conversation. If the remark doesn’t instantly freeze the other party, it sets an agenda for a losing exchange. You are put down and set up in one neat pre-emptive strike.
     Are you going to now argue about whether you’re arguing, or debate debating with a master debater?
     You got into the conversation originally to explore differences and seek understanding. It hadn’t occurred to you that it was a competition. If that’s what it is going to be, you’ll need to reorder your entire frame of mind. Probably need to do some research, too.
     That is, of course, if you buy the choice you have been so smoothly locked into. If you don’t buy it, how would you rate your chances of resetting the basis for why we’re talking?  
     Perhaps the politic thing to do is just just acquiesce and withdraw.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Can a Project Last 40 Years?

     Can a project last 40 years?
     My first response? Of course not.
     Why, then, did I post a commentary on the 40-year history of Borders Books & Music last November 8, and entitle it “Botched Project: Borders Book & Music”? I even noted in the same post that the business had been founded in 1971.
     Since the piece appeared, there have been more than 900 views of it, and countless comments about it on the various discussion boards. Just one writer, though, raised a point (for which I am grateful to him, Steve S), that is deserving of thought by all of us:

     This is not a project, because it was not intended as a temporary endeavor. This is a case study of a business. It did not have consistent objectives over the years, or a fixed timeline (due date) for completion. I wouldn't call it scope creep either, but more of a business going through expansion and retraction as it changed its mission and strategies.