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Geometry Lesson

I am no rocket scientist and some areas of maths confounds and confuses me. However I do know one thing for sure – you can’t square a circle. My quick Google search resulted in:

“Squaring the circle is a problem proposed by ancient geometers. It is the challenge of constructing a square with the same area as a given circle by using only a finite number of steps with compass and straightedge. The difficulty of the problem raised the question of whether specified axioms of geometry concerning the existence of lines and circles implied the existence of such a square.

In 1882, the task was proven to be impossible, as a consequence of the Lindemann–Weierstrass theorem which proves that pi (π) is a transcendental, rather than an algebraic irrational number; that is, it is not the root of any polynomial with rational coefficients.”


A circle is a circle. It is what it is. It cannot be anything else.

Why am I going on about this? 

Well I was reflecting recently on past projects as is often my want to do with the view of reviewing and improving. My own Plan, Do, Check, Act if you like. I realised that some of the requests I had received from clients and some of the behaviours I observed from executives showed they did not understand this principle. 

Laws of nature apply in the business world as well as the natural world. For somethings to be achieved, it takes what it takes, things are as they are. Examples of this I reflected on are:

  • Each company and situation is different and software templates don’t work as a solution. They can help as a tool and mechanism of getting started but software sales people continue to sell them as a panacea and executives, looking for cost effective ways of achieving an outcome, continue to fall for this nonsense. It takes what it takes and often what it takes is for you and your people to think things through and identify what is best for you, rather than rely on a template created by someone else who knows absolutely nothing about your business or your customers.
  • The difference between simple and easy. Performing digital transformation the right way, especially as it relates to operations and supply chain activities, is simple as a concept but not easy to execute. Success hinges on how you and your people think. What perspectives are being brought to the topic and how much genuinely independent counsel are you getting in this process? It takes what it takes to do this right. The question is are you doing what it takes and possibly more importantly do you know what it takes, to do it right?
  • Invoice price -v- True Cost. Accountants look at invoice and P&L cost, but that is not the true cost.

You cannot square a circle. Things are what they are and it takes what it takes to do things/projects properly.

If you’re an executive or owner of a mid-sized or large company and want to discuss ideas on how you can use systems and technology to dramatically improve efficiency, decrease costs, and increase profits and enhance scalability, give me a call. 

© David Ogilvie

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