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We knew it was a bad idea…

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… to go to California. It’s just too…



Let’s just say we wished we’d dosed up on a healthy dose of East Coast pragmatism and chutzpa before we headed out there.

Because now we’re seeing things like energy flows and interdependent mutuality.

And we’ve an unexpected desire to hug trees.

Let’s see if we can’t unpick the mystery.

We’ll start with a client meeting we attended earlier this week – firmly back on the East Coast, by the way – here we were watching a team playing nicey-nice while dodging every conceivable bullet, committing to joint objectives with that gleeful sense of passive-aggressiveness that means those objectives would be used to bludgeon team-mates within a matter of days (if not hours).

All of it. Quite normal.

[and ripe for the pending statement of work]

We should have been rejoicing – and diagnosing underlying symptoms to be treated with our team-o-matic(®) intervention framework – yet we weren’t.

California, you see.

[And a little bit of Barack Obama]

Our time in CA had left us with a view of energy flows, of ley-lines and astral complexes. How we were all, like, rilly rilly connected on a metaphysical plane that, like, made us, er, like, rilly rilly one huge organism.

So we got to watching the meeting, the puerile dog-fights and jousting and saw completely how much energy was being expended on perpetuating the madness. All that energy. Passion. Commitment. Madness.

And, even after several skillful, adept and graceful interventions to try and re-channel the energy

[Re-channel… Damn you, California!]

we met only strong denial and resistance.

This was equilibrium. This was culture. This was the status quo.

Pushing back with everything it had got.

[see? We told you Obama was in there somewhere]

And we felt California hippy karma-dom arise in us. Melancholia and free love swept over us. What is it that makes people cling to maintaining the norms of the past even when those norms are singularly painful and counter-productive? What is it that makes people choose to run the persecutor-victim-rescuer drama triangle even when a better way of being is clear? Why do people…

Hang on a second.

We’re back on the East Coast now, right?


These people who choose to spend productive time arguing like kids in the schoolyard… Why the hell is our client still choosing to pay them to come to work? When they can expend so much time and energy arguing the minutest of miniscule inconsequentialities while major challenges loom like tsunamis on the horizon, why are they still able to draw a paycheck?

The CA in us says care for these people, love them, nurture them, rescue them. The East Coast in us says get them out of the way of people who want to do real work.

And the consultant in us says, there’s got to be an angle in this somewhere

[did we mention the team-o-matic(®) intervention framework, by the way?]

Finally. Equilibrium is restored.