There’s No Magic In Too Much Success
We can experience too much success.
I returned to The Magic Castle in LA last night after 25 years’ absence. The performances are still wonderful, but the experience isn’t. There are too many people crowding into the place. The rooms are packed, dinner service is slow and erratic, and the waits are lengthy. So for a few minutes of terrific magic you endure a very hot (men are required to wear suits and ties), long, uncomfortable wait. I’m not rushing back under these conditions.
TED (ted.com) was once a site of vast intellectual stimulation. But now it’s expanded so much that you need a machete and searchlight to find a spark of interest. Recently, some guy took up time showing how to dry your hands with a single paper towel. I am not making that up. That’s beyond lame, it’s asinine. When I wrote a letter to the site critiquing a woman whose presentation techniques were so poor and distracting that they wasted the viewer’s time, I was told that “no letters of negative criticism of presenters” were published.
So much for intellectual honesty.
Some organizations do a fairly good job of handling huge success. Disney, until recently, has been one of them at its theme parks. FedEx has expanded intelligently without losing user-friendly, fast service. Apple has handled growth pretty well, cellular phone networks not so well.
In your consulting work, are you prepared to handle success? We often gird ourselves for failure, but what happens when four of five outstanding proposals are accepted? My feeling is that you can never have too much desirable business, so long as you can attend to it in a qualitative and prompt fashion.
Gear up for success with subcontractors, more resources, better options, and streamlined delivery. Don’t allow more customers to clog your business’s arteries.
If magicians can pull rabbits out of hats consistently and impressively, management should be able to put people in seats efficiently and pleasantly.
© Alan Weiss 2012. All rights reserved.