In a room, there are two people. Their names are What and How.
How they identify themselves is not important. What they do and say, is key.
What wants you to know they are there. They are loud, direct – in your face. They have documents written about them. Their picture is up on the wall. What is all over the papers, emails and slidedecks that are being carried to various meetings, in the adjoining rooms – from where our two “friends” sit.
How is a little less obvious. It’s often harder to see or hear How. How is blocked out by What. How struggles to make themselves heard over What.
If something needs to be said, What is likely to have the first, second and last word on the subject.
“I am What. You know me. You want me. You need me!”
“I am How. I…”
“What. Remember the name. Remember why you are in the room. It is because you want What. You don’t want How. You don’t even know what to do with How. At the start, no one says how are we doing? They always ask, what are we doing?”
“Hi. Like I said, I am How. Nice to meet you. I wasn’t expecting you to come and find me.”
“That’s because they don’t actually care about you. You are an afterthought. I am what they need. So, what they need now is What!”
“Yes, What. But they need me to get to you. Think of me as….”
“That’s your problem. You assume people think. Sometimes they just do. Or they don’t do. Either way, they still get What”
“… the person to get the very best from you, What. If they consider me, they get the best of you and the best of me. It is really quite simple. You do see that, right?”
“All I can hear is stuff that will slow us down. Let’s get cracking. How, you stay here, I am going to take our visitor somewhere else and show them what is What”
“OK What. See you soon. No doubt with When, asking ‘how did this happen?’, ‘how did we get here?’ – How, help!”
As we leave, What is confidently explaining what it is that will happen, and how great it will be when it is done. All the while, How sits down with his plans and process documents and smiles.
“They will be back. They always are.”