January 24, 2022

It wasn’t me… honest!

ginger cat looking sheepish hiding its face in its paws

We all have the experience of applying a solution to a problem, and the problem gets worse.

The Germans even have a word for making something worse through an attempt to make things better: Schlimmbesserung

Maybe it’s something simple like trying to fix a drip in some paint that has already started to dry, or changing something on your computer which results in a dead PC and a trip to the IT people, or telling a friend or colleague something you thought they ‘needed to hear’, or worse.

With hindsight we look back and realise that we came up with a solution without properly understanding what was going on and what remedial action would actually work. Usually, it’s because we were reacting to the symptom, not the underlying problem.

And probably being a little impatient.

Next time, before acting, stop and ask yourself, ‘Am I just fixing a symptom, or will this address the underlying cause?’.

And of course, you now have a new word, Schlimmbesserung, to show off your erudition to your friends 🙂

My best wishes, Paul

Paul Matthews

CEO and Founder of People Alchemy

share this article:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

related posts

glass pawns on a chess board, one see through the others opaque

Where is the leadership pointing?

Very few organisations are satisfied with where they are, and any leadership team worth its salt will have a vision of where they want to be instead.

Read More
black board with wooden frame and Why? written in white chalk

Be wary of the power of ‘Why?’

Imagine you see someone, a colleague, a friend, even a partner, doing something wrong, and it matters to you. Or …

Read More
People sitting around a table working with laptop and making notes

Informal learning’s role in learning transfer

We have just published Paul’s latest blog. He talks about the role informal learning plays in learning transfer. Why it …

Read More
person walking across a bridge on autumn leaves

Stuck

If you don’t like where you are, keep moving.
The only way to change the scenery around you is to move.

Read More

search blog

Get your free weekly tip

You agree that we can keep a record of your details, and send you other occasional offers. See our Privacy Policy