Neither Good Nor Bad

I’ve learned not to judge events as “good” or “bad”, under most circumstances.

A couple weeks ago, an ice storm closed Portland down. One casualty of the storm was a public workshop on Process Improvement (Lean/Quality/Change) that I was going to lead, which got rescheduled to the first week of December. Unfortunately, not all the participants, who had paid for the workshop series, were available on the new date. That’s bad, right?

Maybe not…

I decided to offer the workshop to the participants who could not attend the rescheduled time, at their location, at no additional cost to them, so that they would receive full value for their investment in education. Three organizations accepted my offer. I requested that each of them invite other colleagues, again at no additional cost, so that we would have approximately 8 in the room – a 1-person workshop is VERY small!

As rewarding as it is to lead a public workshop, leading the on-site workshops is even more so. It’s a much smaller group (8, rather than 20). And I am able to use examples from their organization for the major exercises, allowing them to move their organization forward. In the public workshop, that is not possible.

So, as “bad” as the ice storm was as far as messing up people’s schedules and commitments, something good emerged – the opportunity to lead workshops on site for 3 organizations, using their own examples. Now I can view ice storms as “good”. Well, maybe…

Gary Langenwalter

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