IDEAS FOR LEADERS: Said Detective Colombo to the CEO…!

Jerry Tarasofsky's picture

A very well done ‘Just Thinking’ post from John Caswell

Ah, sorry to bother you Mr. CEO, Sir…

Excuse me Mr. CEO, Sir? Um . . I know you’re busy, and important and stuff. I mean, running the business is very important and - ah – I hate to bother you, Sir. I will only take a minute. Ok, Sir? See, I have these missing pieces that are holding me up, and I was wondering, Sir, if you could take time out of your busy schedule and help me out.

You know, no big deal, just some loose ends and things. Hey, you have a nice place here! The wife sees houses like this on TV all the time and says, boy, she wishes she had digs like this, you know? Is that painting real? Really? Wow! I saw something like that in a museum once.

Oh, sorry Sir. I didn’t mean to get off the track. So if you could just help me out a minute and give me some details, I will get right out of your way. I want to close this case and maybe take the wife Coney Island or something. Ever been to Coney Island Sir? No? I didn’t think so…

Well, listen, anyway, I can’t seem to get some information I need to wrap this up. These things seem to either be “Not known”, “Not clear” or “Not understood”  I’m sure it’s just an oversight or glitch or something, so if you could you tell me where these things are I have them written down here somewhere – oh wait. I’ll just read it to you.

Could you please help me find these things, Sir?

  • What are you are aiming to achieve? The outcome of it all? This business of yours? Sir…?
  • The measures that might tell you that you are getting there? Where are they?
  • And Sir? – what’s the actual need you are trying to fulfill?
  • What is your vision exactly?
  • Does the world actually need what you are aiming to do?
  • The story. What’s the story really Sir?
  • And your strategy? No-one seems to know what that is.
  • The people in the business don’t seem to care Sir? Why should they?
  • The road map you say you have? Where is that?
  • The alignment. Where is that Sir?
  • And the things that differentiate the business from all the others? Can you tell me that Sir?

Oh and one more thing Mr. CEO Sir, I can’t seem to find the criteria you used for any of this. Can you explain that to me, Sir? but hey – listen! I know you’re busy! If this is too much for you right now – I mean – tell you what. I’ll come back tomorrow. Give you some time to get these things together, you know? I mean, I know you’re busy. I’ll just let myself out. I’ll be back tomorrow. And the day after.

What’s that Sir?

Who wants to know these things? Well the people in your business, the customers and partners who rely on you Sir.

You know the ones that keep you alive?


The ORGANIZATION OPTIMIZER would certainly have helped this CEO deal with and answer many of Detective Colombo’s questions.