On the Danger of Conflating the Best with the Better

On the Danger of Conflating the Best with the Better

Posted on:Jul 03 2014
Captured by:Austin M

There is a danger in declaring your solution to a problem as best. Sometimes there is not a best org structure, there may be three better org structures, as in better than the other possibilities. There might be two better and one best, but in reality a zero sum mentality keeps us from identifying the true problem beneath the problems that obscure a right decision.

Sometimes, best cannot be discovered, because it does not exist. The irony is this: a good solution is often judged by those later as a best solution. This point becomes clearer when you reflect on the succession of CEO’s in certain organizations. The successor to a successful CEO may implement a radically different philosophical approach and still achieve remarkable results.

We must be very careful about absolute terms when we are seeking clarity in our thinking.  We must identify what terms are absolutely absolute, and then what terms are relatively relative. The key is to remember this: “best” itself is an absolute term; “better” is a relative term, confusing one with the other obscures the best judgment.

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