I sent Stilgherrian and email several weeks ago about the Australian government's obsession with censoring the Internet. (Stilgherrian has written several interesting articles on this matter which are all well worth a read.)

I thought the following extract and thoughts may be useful to share here.

On 23/01/2009, at 3:57 PM, Zern Liew wrote:

I wonder... is this Internet censorship thing a red herring? What else is happening just beyond our/the nation's peripheral vision? I saw an ep of one of those airline disasters docos. In an emergency situation, pilots can become focused on essentially the "loudest" problem at hand, and forget to follow standard procedure which is to always scan all the key instruments. This tunnel vision then blinds the pilots to any potentially deteriorating (and in this case disastrous) big picture conditions that are developing right in front of their eyes.

Stilgherrian replied:

This is an important point. It happens in business too. The noisiest, most needy clients suck up your time when you could be making good money from the quiet achievers. This will be most important in 2009 as the economy increases the pressure on every business. Those who choose NOT to think, NOT to plan, will be the ones making the most noise -- and the ones most likely to fail anyway.
Let natural selection take its course.

In these economic times, how hard will it be to let clients go?
What if the client is noisy but they pay well and on time?

Is it simply human nature to respond to the noisiest problem?
And also human nature to prefer crying for help over trying to do better ourselves if?

Is there a business opportunity here to specifically target disorganised businesses? In other words – accept the fact that they are disorganised and offer a service to make their problems go away, for a fee of course.

The disorganised, perpetual drama clients will likely fail – this it is however a question of time. And time alone can affect whether a business survives or not.

A large behemoth can take a while to go down simply because of the inertia of capital and size. The more people there are in a sick organisation, the more resilient it will appear to be in the short term. Most people are actually conscientious and care about doing their jobs even within a toxic environment, for a while. The sickness also takes longer to reach critical mass if there are more people to infect.

Large organisations also tend to have more capital backing. The organisation will keep breathing and suffering until the money runs out. Natural selection will take its course eventually. The economic climate will accelerate the death of unhealthy businesses.

I guess the challenges are: to keep the healthy ones alive long enough to things get better, by leveraging the resources of the unhealthy ones effectively, but without letting the unhealthy ones dragged the healthy ones down the tubes.