The Problem with a Single-sided Story

Imagine with me if you will: A man takes out a loan, starts a company, and goes bankrupt shortly afterwards. He falls into a depression and commits suicide. What do you make of this story?

As a Business Consultant, I shall straight away seek to understand why the business idea did not work: was he a bad leader? Was the strategy wrong, the market too small or the competition too large? If you are a marketer, you imagine the campaigns were poorly organized, or that he failed to reach his target audience. If you are a financial expert, you ask whether the loan was the right financial instrument. As a banker, you believe an error took place in the loan department. As a socialist, you blame the failure of capitalism.

Which is the ‘correct’ viewpoint? None of them. ‘If your only tool is a hammer, all your problems will be nails,’ said Mark Twain. Armies think of military solutions first. Engineers, structural. Trend gurus see trends in everything (incidentally, this is one of the most idiotic ways to view the world). In short: if you ask someone the crux of a particular problem, they usually link it to their own area of expertise.

So what’s wrong with that? It’s good if, say, a tailor sticks to what he knows. It, however, becomes hazardous when people apply their specialised processes in areas where they don’t belong. Surely you’ve come across some of these: teachers who scold their friends like students. New mothers who begin to treat their husbands like children.

In nutshell, there’s a danger of a single-sided story and for such, we should always be open to experiences and accumulate as many sides as possible.

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Plot 7 Moyo Lane. Kololo. Kampala. Uganda

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