This text is from a county emergency manager in Minot, North Dakota

Up here in the Northern part of North Dakota we just recovered from a Historic event — may I even say a “Weather Event” of “Biblical Proportions” — with a historic blizzard of up to 25’ of snow and winds to 50 MPH that broke trees in half, knocked down utility poles, stranded hundreds of motorists in lethal snow banks, closed ALL roads, isolated scores of communities and cut power to 10 ‘ s of thousands.


Obama did not come.
FEMA did nothing.
No one howled for the government.
No one blamed the government.
No one even uttered an expletive on TV.
Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton did not visit.
Our Mayors did not blame Obama or anyone else.
Our Governor did not blame Obama or anyone else either.
CNN, ABC, CBS, FOX, or NBC did not visit – or even report on this category 5 snow storm.
Nobody demanded $2,000 debit cards.
No one asked for a FEMA Trailer House.
No one looted.
Nobody – I mean Nobody demanded the government do something.
Nobody expected the government to do anything either.
No Larry King, No Bill O ‘ Reilly, No Oprah, No Chris Mathews and No Geraldo Rivera.
No Shaun Penn, No Barbara Streisand, No Brad Pitts, No Hollywood types to be found.
Nope, we just melted the snow for water.
Sent out caravans of SUV ‘s to pluck people out of snow engulfed cars.
The truck drivers pulled people out of snow banks and didn’t ‘ t ask for a penny.
Local restaurants made food, and the police and fire departments delivered it to the snow bound families..
Families took in the stranded people – total strangers.
We fired up wood stoves, broke out coal oil lanterns or Coleman lanterns.
We put on an extra layers of clothes because up here it is “Work or Die”.
We did not wait for some affirmative action government to get us out of a mess created by being immobilized by a welfare program that trades votes for ‘ sitting at home ‘ checks.
Even though a Category 5 blizzard of this scale is not usual, we know it can happen and how to deal with it ourselves.
I hope this gets passed on.
Maybe ……
SOME people will get the message ……
The world does Not owe you a living.

Isn’t this interesting?  I don’t know if it’s really true, that it was sent by an emergency manager in North Dakota, but I love the message.

Now for the Theory of Constraints lesson …

If you were in charge of emergency management for your county how would you prepare?

In Theory of Constraints, one of the things we use to prepare is the phenomenal human ability to find anything and everything wrong with an idea. We call it the “yes, but”.

Whenever we are presented with an idea or solution that did not originate in our own heads, we think and sometimes say “yes, but …”.

We are saying yes to part of the solution, BUT we have a concern about another part of the solution or about a negative that we think could result.

And in some cases the “yes, but” could be the result of our misunderstanding of the solution.

But in any case, and in many company cultures saying it out loud is frowned upon, at least depending on whose idea it was. So many “yes, buts …” never get verbalized.

What a shame and what a missed opportunity!

We use the “yes, buts” technique in the Velocity Scheduling System and our Mafia Offer Boot Camp.

“Yes, buts” can clear up miss understandings, improve already good solutions and help you to find a solution for what seems like an impossible situation.

So if you were in charge of emergency management, would you encourage “yes, buts”? Would you follow every potential negative to see where it leads and determine if it’s worth being prepared for?

I think you would. So why not do that as you’re making decisions in your company? Why not make voicing “yes, buts” a positive thing?

Let me know what you think, by leaving a comment on this post.   

And you may also want to check out this related article:

Dr Lisa Lang
President, Science of Business

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