In Ireland we often carry out reviews when something bad happens.  Terms of reference are drawn up.  The review is conducted.  A report is produced (but not always released to the people who most deserve to see it).  The report includes recommendations.  The recommendations are then considered by the relevant authorities.  And then, sometimes, that’s the end – with no one being held accountable.

    I had a feeling of déjà vu recently when I turned on the radio.  One of our Ministers was talking about “terms of reference” being drawn up and how she was “seeking this independent review”.

    As it nearly always does, it sounded waffly.  So, I was pleased when the journalist asked:

    “When will this process start?

    The answer was terribly disappointing but not surprising:

    “Hopefully as soon as possible

    The journalist tried again:

    “Within the next few weeks?

    To which the Minister answered: “Just waiting for support from Minister Donnelly… to get this review [indistinct] and approved”

    In other words – a non-answer.

    The journalist let her away with it.

    And what the journalist let the Minister away with was the absence of a date for the process to start – let alone for it to finish!

    I can be far tougher on my clients than that journalist was on that Minister.  Most recently, a client was explaining to me why something they’d planned to do hadn’t been done.  To which I said:

    “I hear what you’re saying.  I understand what you’re saying.  But that doesn’t explain why this did not happen.” 

    And then I shut up.  And didn’t fill the silence.  And in that silence, that’s when my client quietly and honestly nodded (we were on zoom). 

    Maybe one day one of my clients will tell me to f*** off.  But it hasn’t happened yet.

    Or tell me to back off – that I’m being too tough on them.  That too hasn’t happened yet.

    Why do they stay?

    Because they get more of the important stuff done than they would otherwise!

    The world’s a strange place when clients can get a harder time from me than a government minister gets from a journalist on national radio.  But there you go!  That’s what potentially awaits you.

    What would your business look like if, every week, you did what you planned to do and if what you planned to do was the best use of your (limited) time?

    If you want help with that, email me to find out more.