A friend of mine told me a story about his laptop. It got warmer and warmer; the fan on all the time; you could hear the big noise in the background.
He calls his IT support: my laptop is burning; the back side could double as a grill, I could fry an egg on it. Obviously the fan is on ,and on, all the time. You can hear the noise constantly. Help!
Don’t worry sir, his IT support desk says, I’ll download an app for you that stops the fan and takes the noise out.
This is a true story. The offer of a silent oven, a noiseless barbecue of the database.
Don’t we all do a bit of that? Suppress the annoying symptoms? Stop the noise?
The best way to solve employee engagement discussions is to stop doing surveys (which, mind you, I think they are useless, but the suppression does not solve ‘employee engagement’. It’s a silent oven strategy).
The best way to solve friction in collaboration is to split the people in the conflicting relationship. Schools do, companies do, politics do, so…
The best way to make sure that you are loyal to the commitment of ‘always keeping promises’, is not to make any . Your accountability ranking will always be high.
And so on.
Safety achievements improve if you don’t report incidents.
Performance is brilliant when you systematically work on targets below your possibilities.
Immigration’s unpleasant discussions would improve greatly if you talk about something else, less annoying.
I am not entirely joking.
The IT guy heard ‘noise’ (of the fan), assumed (rightly) that it was truly annoying, so, wanted to suppress the noise. Tell me, what’s wrong with that? He would say. And actually… he did.
Perhaps he knows a lot about noise suppression.
Perhaps burning laptops was not in his department. Or in the algorithm.
If we pretend that something is not there, we don’t have to worry about it. In organizations, difficult conversations can take place by way of domesticated discussions, putting the real problem ‘off line’ or ‘out-of-scope’. But the silent oven still cooks, and can end in fire.
And there is always an app.