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Please Stop Lighting Matches Near the Dynamite

Please Stop Lighting Matches Near the Dynamite

Preventive action is far superior to contingent action, because it saves money, time, embarrassment, and sometimes, lives. Prohibiting smoking, separating combustibles, making sure electrical connections are at or above requirements are far superior than having the sprinklers go off, people following escape routes, and filing insurance claims. We need the contingent actions if preventive actions fail, but the best circumstance is effective preventive actions.

Think of that with buyers before they tell you they want to wait until they make a key hire, or delegate you to HR, or say they can do it themselves, or “it’s a bad time and we have no money.”

When I start a project I tell the buyer, “You’re going to hear bad things about me from your people, and I’ll hear bad things about you from those same people. Let’s acknowledge that’s going happen and agree to simply accept it as a reaction to uncomfortable change.” That’s preventive action.

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Alan Weiss is a consultant, speaker, and author of over 60 books. His consulting firm, Summit Consulting Group, Inc., has attracted clients from over 500 leading organizations around the world.

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