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  1. I loved this description of how a simple request becomes a “social graph” nightmare -with too many people not answering the right question.

    • Thank Michael. It’s amazing how easy it is for us to get distracted from solving the problem, instead spending a lot of time talking about solving the problem. Thanks so much!

      • David, you got any ideas about how the group gets distracted & so easily?

        • Mike: That’s the $64k question ($69 K Cdn 😉 Some speculation, having seen it so often, and particularly afflicting very large organizations.

          1. Generally there is no absence of good intent. The flurry and level of “work/activity” is very high, it’s just misdirected.
          2. It’s often caused by people “doing their jobs,” but too often customer problems fall “in between” or “in the overlaps.” So they don’t know who/how to solve the problems.
          3. The absence of a problem owner. Someone has to own the problem, and it can’t be the customer.
          4. Bad problem management processes, tracking, and systems.
          5. No metrics or accountability on customer problem management (add customer experience, customer satisfaction).
          6. The customer is too abstract. It is a name at and enterprise, not a poor frustrated human being. Sometimes, I think we should collect the customer’s picture with the problem report so whenever we look at it, we see a customer staring back to us.
          7. We focus on the problem and ignore the impact of the problem. Consequently we don’t know the pain the customer is experiencing.

          What are your thoughts—I’d love to turn this into a blog post.

          Separately, thanks for your very kind and generous comment on LinkedIn today. I really appreciate it!

          • David;

            Here is my working hypothesis.

            I see this problem as the group equivalent to the constraints on an individual’s working memory. Miller’s The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two.

            After 6 or 7 emails, enough people stop looking through to the end of the thread to see if the problem has been solved.

            Each layer on the email thread brings up “important talk” because enough people are acting as if the problems has been solved.

            The process is self-reinforcing after 7 or more responses.

            Would have to see the entire email thread, though.

            (And you are welcome for the well deserved compliment.)

  2. Mike, I think there’s real merit to what you have to say. It’s kind of a “scroll factor.” The problem changes as the amount you scroll increases.

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