We need to be more consistent. I hear this all the time in my organisation.  I also hear it when I am out and about talking to colleagues in other organisations.  It is a common issue.  People expect us to be consistent whatever that means.  I think they mean that whatever goes in, the same should pop out like a widget machine.  I’m not sure it is possible.

The world in which we live is very complicated.  It is a chaotic system.  Even what looks like the same input rarely is and all decision makers are subject to a barrage of changing environmental circumstances.

As Rich Stein said, I am human.  I am complex.  I make mistakes and sometimes say stupid things. But it’s not the sum of my whole.

Get over it.

(I added that bit.)

The picture is worse though.  When I dig a bit deeper people often would like me to treat them in a different way than I would treat others.  I’m trying hard not to make operational decisions.  I’m trying to stick to the strategic and trust those closer to the coal face to do the right thing.  People seem happy with this approach when it relates to them but always want me to tell others what to do.  It is as if they get it, they are trustworthy and it is all the others I need to worry about.

So how can people expect consistency when they are not consistent themselves?

Perhaps that is not what they mean.  Perhaps instead they mean that we should try and treat people fairly.  What is good for one is good for another and what is unacceptable for one is unacceptable for all.  Perhaps they also mean that we should approach our issues in the same way.  If we expect a decision to come to management team then all similar decisions should come through the same route.

The decisions and the outcomes may be inconsistent but the process will not.  That sounds like a reasonable thing to me.

2 thoughts on “Consistency

  1. Maybe what people are really looking for is to be more involved in the process and to understand why the decisions are being made, maybe the same process doesn’t fit every situation.

    Could people be confusing consistency with clarity..

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