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Falling the Stairs of Failure

Rached ALIMI wrote a great comment, which grabbed my attention. His comment reads:

We must reassure not die in quicksand! However, the most important rule is to start going back as if we had to go up the stairs behind us and slowly we will feel under our feet that the ground is becoming less soft until we feel it more and more solid. Therefore, we will finally be free! We must not continue in the spiral of our thoughts that make us sink more and more, let’s stop and like a slow-motion movie comes back recovering creative and imaginative sides of us, those will be our holds in life when we are in difficulty!

Many questions stormed my mind such as:

Why would anybody go up or down with the stairs behind?

Is it always easier to walk down the stairs than to walk them up?

What about leaders and which way they should walk the stairs?

One would elude self to think these questions have simple and obvious answers. To the contrary, these are complex questions and the cause and effect influence each other. The post explains why this is the case.

I tell you that coming down stairs more dangerous than going up . Surprising- I know because going up is battling against gravity.

There are factors to take into consideration. These factors include among others:

  • The health condition of the walker
  • The environment
  • Stairs quality- such as being narrow versus broad
  • Handrail quality
  • Situation and walkers’ behavior

The health condition of the walker is a prime factor. People, mostly aged. With weak knees, it is harder to walk down the stairs. This is because coming down the stairs is much more likely to ‘jolt’ painful joints with every step. Having less muscle strength means the body is also less able to absorb or cushion these sudden and painful jolts. This explains why going down the stairs backwards is less painful than walking the stairs down as usual.

The same analogy applies to ageing organizations. When they falter and lose their ability to grow (walking the stairs upwards), they start their decline with weak “knees”. The experience is painful. These organizations are needy of attention and care. They are similar to what mothers do walking their children while men walking backwards walking down the stairs to protect women should they fall. This more urgent if the stairs are narrow, slippery or covered with sticky materials thrown carelessly (or intentionally sometimes) so that others may fall painfully.

Ageing organizations need the support of the young as much as the young need the wisdom of the old employees having experienced walking down the stairs in such harsh conditions.

When companies age and walk down the narrow and slippery stairs of failure they need to slow down to control their balance so as not to fall. This is a risk of rapid fall downs.

The risk of walking down the stairs of failure amplifies when people tend to look behind them at their glorious past and wishing their past glory would come back. It is this dreaming that makes the fall down riskier and more painful. Instead of watching out their steps they look behind in despair only to become more desperate.

A last thought is addressing audience by or vice versa. Some cultures insist on addressing men before women. This provides an example of caring situational probing. When walking up the stairs the men stay behind the women to shield them from the eyes of odd people down the stairs looking at the women and exploring their bodies from behind. The opposite is true when walking down the stairs so that men may get hold of women should they fall. Needs are stronger than etiquette.

Rules require flexibility to be agile to the emerging needs. So are great leader. They know when to be in the front, in the back and when to walk the stairs normally or with the stairs behind their back.

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Ali Anani
Ali Ananihttps://www.bebee.com/@ali-anani
My name is Ali Anani. I hold a Ph.D. from the University of East Anglia (UK, 1972) Since the early nineties I switched my interests to publish posts and presentations and e-books on different social media platforms.

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6 CONVERSATIONS

  1. In the way of work it is better to look for a collaboration between young and old rather than to create intergenerational battle. I have actively witnessed the enormous damage that is generated in a company when generational clashes are preferred rather than a climate of real collaboration and succession. It would be good to recognize young people as a great opportunity: for the first time in the history of work, they impersonate key holders to learn the most functional technologies. In fact, once the so-called know-how was owned by the “old” of the trade. Now, however, companies buy machines and technologies with a level of complexity and new elements such that young people find themselves the only ready enough workers to be able to manage them better. This situation must be exploited to the fullest by those who enter the world of work last, presenting themselves as those who actually have the skills to expand the company under different profiles. Who, however, has been in the labor market for several years, knows for sure that he possesses a knowledge of the market and of the relational dynamics superior to who is a parvenu of this area. As a consequence, he will understand the urgencies better and will have a background of problems and unexpected surprises.
    Since both teams have a strong point on their side, they should learn to negotiate and grow together rather than declare a position war. So it is necessary that young people are humble and curious in order to learn the best experience of those who work for a long time and at the same time who is in the business world for years should remember that the speed that requires the market needs to govern the best the digital and problem solving skills, which young people often have.
    I believe we must start from the awareness that respect and esteem are the basis of any human relationship, especially in the professional field, and that it is a fundamental value that must be cultivated both by those who are younger and by those who are more experienced (even the most ‘elder’ easily underestimates the young and does not value the contribution he can make, assuming that he is inexperienced, so he knows nothing).
    The challenge is precisely the virtuous exchange between the new generation and the generation that holds the experience in the field. In view of an effective and generational exchange of value for business successes, the advice is that the generations in the company are increasingly flexible and available to enhance the different moments of their professional life.
    What should always be clear to all members of an organization is: you never stop learning!

    • Thank you Aldo for a most clear and assuring comment.
      I believe there is one line that summarizes concisely the situation in your comment. It is “Since both teams have a strong point on their side, they should learn to negotiate and grow together rather than declare a position war.”.
      It is the generation working together or against each other.
      In the first scenario it is a lose:lose scenario
      In the second scenario it is a win:win scenario.
      If only we all realize this basic fact.

  2. First thank you for drawing attention to Rached Alimi’s recipe for saving ourselves from emotional or real quick sands, Ali.
    I had not seen the original quote and the context, but I am sure I am not the only one who at times wonder “how this this conversation turn into this subject?” With our own thoughts, sometimes we can find our way back. With conversations, the other person may have an association that makes perfect sense to them, but as we don’t know this bridge, it can seem a totally random shift to something unrelated. How to gracefully voice our confusion is an art form I have yet to master.

    The image your post draws up for me is of stairs in a musical where the choir/dancers go left, right or center, up, down, synchronized. Mankind has been fascinated by climbing artificially since the birth of civilization as the pyramids are a testament to. Is it the same fascination that underpins the species’ sick focus on being better than? Or at least not being less than?

    • You bring two great ideas in your valuable comment Charlotte.
      The first one how ideas connect together without any intended planning. “With conversations, the other person may have an association that makes perfect sense to them, but as we don’t know this bridge, it can seem a totally random shift to something unrelated.”
      Is this order emerging from chaos? Probably yes. You know that almost 40% of my posts were based on comments from readers. These comments excite me and I simply ponder on them and keep asking questions till a post emerges.

      The second idea about humans. Humans claim that they are the most advanced brains and so they need to prove it and emulate ideas from nature and make them better. Maybe this explains our sick focus on being better.

  3. Dear Vishwas, your comment is amazing and mesmerized me reading this ” There is a need to Renovate the Structure with Innovative techniques to maintain the longevity of a Company:,
    The word structure in your quote caused my amazement.
    I am writing my next post on this idea in particular. It is about new and niche materials that expand under pressure in contrast to the law of physics.
    They do so because of not the elements forming them, but more due the structures of these elements fall into and their connectivity. Their resilience is based on their resilient structures.
    When their structures change they change.
    So are companies that have resilience. They must have inherent resilient structure such that even though they bring newness of vision yet their structures are responsive and expand under the pressure of change.

    Such great your comment is.

  4. “When companies age and walk down the narrow and slippery stairs of failure they need to slow down to control their balance so as not to fall. This is a risk of rapid fall downs.”
    A simple statement that is accompanied by Complexities and Risks . There is a need to Renovate the Structure with Innovative techniques to maintain the longevity of a Company . Yet, the values , needs and wants of consumers change with Time, Space & Trending environmental norms. Going backwards with History demands lessons learnt for ‘what we were,what we are & what we should be ‘ that explains the need of dynamic flexibility to introduce Newness all the time within Ethical & Valuable Preventive Maintainance Techniques within the Scope of bringing newness of Vision . Loved reading your Post of the day with deep insights .

salon 360°

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