Why do widespread companies (from Alberta, Austria, India, Mexico, Russia, the Ukraine, the U.S.)
reach out to CCCC, a small management boutique in Ottawa? The answer is that they have heard about
organizations improving 30% in their first year of exposure to CCCC and they are aware of 3,000
business problems being solved, 100% of the time – as well as other ‘business miracles’. How can
a small management boutique consistently show results that outperform the big consulting firms?
The real question is: “What makes for success in running an enterprise?” This is a question that
has been asked a thousand times. Companies’ directors and managers are intelligent, competent,
well-trained and hardworking; they have access to the greatest resources possible. So success should be
automatic – but it is not. Therefore, since most companies have capabilities, the better question to ask is:
“What is preventing success?” CCCC has demonstrated1
that the answer lies in three little-known, hidden
factors, which are interdependent – the secret sauce, so to speak. For the record those three hidden
ingredients are (i) the necessity of defusing emotions at every opportunity; (ii) understanding how the
different temperaments of people contributes to efficiencies throughout the enterprise; and (iii) applying
‘chaos theory’ whenever appropriate, the same natural phenomenon responsible for your lungs, arteries,
blood capillaries, tree growth and rock fissures – yet are every bit as applicable to managing your day-today business. These three sauce ingredients must be constantly injected into, and stirred around in, your
day-to-day business processes.
1. Defusing Emotions
We define respect as not trivializing anyone else’s thoughts or ideas. Defusing your own emotions
is just one piece of the respect puzzle. Defusing your protagonist’s emotion is another piece. If you are
respectful, cooperation goes up; if you are disrespectful, cooperation goes down. CCCC’s own studies
show that a 10% increase in cooperation can lead to a 30% increase in performance. Two other forms of
disrespect are interrupting a speaker and being late, both of these totally controllable by you.
The keys to defusing the emotions of the person who has said something offensive to you are two.
First, treat the speakers as sick and not knowing what negative things they are doing. That is, don’t take
the insult personally; move from the insult back to the issue first raised and the reason for the conversation.
Secondly, realize that no real conversation can take place unless you remove emotions from the
conversation. First you defuse the emotion; only then is the door open to discuss the issue. So always,
your first priority is to defuse the other person’s emotions. Defending your own position serves no purpose
at the moment because it comes across to the other person as if you do not hear the concern; therefore, the
complaining person’s emotions escalate – getting further away from a solution. Simply put, defusing
emotions leads to solutions; not defusing emotions leads to confusion and unresolved issues. Do you want
to focus on ‘proving you are right’ or do you want to focus on a solution?
The GPS lady is an example of successfully defusing emotions. No matter how you drive or ignore
her, her focus remains: based on where we are now, what is the best way to get to our destination? The
CCCC program assists clients in defusing emotions by not only specific training in defusing, but also
training in how to hold meetings that defuse emotions including the passing-to-the-right rule and the
assignment of a referee. In problem-solving session, we accumulate data – in all forms and all opinions
without comment or criticism. Even opposite viewpoints will be listed, rather than debated. We let the
information do the talking, not emotions (see, also, Chaos, below).
1 CCCC’s statistical success with users of the hidden factors is a 30% performance increase and an ROI of 34:1.
2. Human Temperament
Just as each human looks different from the other, so the brain of each is different. Your 750 trillion
synapse connections are clearly different than mine. They are hardwired in; the leopard does not change its
spots. You are either aggressive or passive or somewhere in between. You are either thrilled by being
attentive to details, or you hate fussy details (or somewhere in between). You have either an optimistic or
a pessimistic outlook (or between). You relish connecting with people or you tend towards preferring to be
a Lone Ranger (or between). Training can help us overcome some of the deficiencies that come with the
territory of any of these temperaments, but under pressure, we all revert back to our true colours. The basis
for all current-day psychological behavior, human recognition of temperament is as old as Hippocrates of
350 B.C., who first identified its four categories. This treasury of understanding of why people do the things
that they do has been ignored by current societies in general and by businesses in particular which waste
their time focusing on people’s weaknesses and set out to change the unchangeable leopard’s spot. Just as
we do not ask a soprano to sing a base note, we are wasting our time to teach shy Mabel how to be a suave
Recognizing, and not criticizing, people’s temperament, allows CCCC clients to focus on, and take
advantage of, an individual’s strength and to accept the temperamental weaknesses. With CCCC’s
guidance, companies specify the temperament required for each position and then hire or assign a person
who identifies well with that temperament. Result: better success at hiring, happier employees, greater
productivity, and the mood of the company shoots up like a rocket.
3. Chaos Theory
While we will offer a few words now about chaos, a separate paper will be provided later by CCCC
on this most complex member of our trio. Chaos is now recognized as a regular part of the four-stage cycle
of all endeavors of: steady-state, linear growth, rapid growth and finally exponential growth (chaos),
whether it be to describe the cycle of locusts in Africa or the rise and fall of a great corporation.
Chaos theory in our every-day world is like many aspects of a Scrabble game. (i) You build from
what you have; you cannot plan a Scrabble game 10 moves ahead. (ii) Do not be surprised at coincidences
(we can show mathematically that the high incidence of coincidence should be expected as long as there are
no constraints: the more I travel, the more likely I am to meet someone I know in some remote place; the
more I shoot the puck at the net, the more likely it is to go in, even if it bounces off of a shoulder).
The usefulness of chaos in business, is to accept the idea of just to go and try something even if you
can’t predict how things will fall out. Let it happen and then build from that. (Of course, you must plan
carefully too. The CCCC advice is to balance the two approaches.) CCCC has its clients use chaos theory
in CCCC’s proven success in (a) problem solving, (b) hiring staff, (c) planning (d) conducting meetings and
Good luck with (1) defusing, (2) turning personalities to your advantage and (3) getting things done.