Yesterday, in the course of congratulating my son Gary Yablon on his graduation from Rowan University, I interwove a story about how hard it can be to make a living in a changing business. I also made a few points about expectations; the reason it’s hard to be a computer consultant is that people now believe they can manage their own computers.

In large part, that’s become true. But when things are beyond your understanding, it’s time to call in an expert. The issue is this: how do you know what you don’t know?

For much the same reason I was thinking yesterday about a young lady’s need for help with a video production, I’m thinking today about another student who recently attended a “model congress”, tried to get a bill passed repealing health care reform, and was unsuccessful.

This young lady is genuinely one of the smartest people I’ve ever met. She’s also incredibly headstrong. And she went to her model congress planning to get the bill she had written passed on both moral and constitutional grounds.

And she was was well-prepared. And the bill was defeated.

Why? Because the things that seem right to one person aren’t always right to another. And they certainly can’t be relied on to be “right” to a majority of people. The moral side of her argument couldn’t be relied on to be received in a manageable way.

Fact, on the other hand, is fact. And while there aren’t ultimately many things that really are “facts”, once you establish a fact it’s pretty hard to dispute.

So consider: you want to repeal health care reform and you want a group of precocious teenagers to agree with your position. Some of those teenagers will be liberal, and others will be conservative, with both groups intractably so—mostly in response to their upbringings. The correct strategy is to hit them with fact: The Sixteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution is all the evidence you need that Health Care Reform in its current form is unconstitutional.

In the real world, there’s a fallacy in that argument since in the real United States Congress bills get introduced and die, so even though there might be facts in play the people who are working with them can choose to sweep those facts under a rug. This is different from a Model Congress where the participants are bound by a specific code of conduct that ensures each bill will be voted on.

But that’s the point. Whether you’re at a Model Congress, in the real United States Congress, or are running a business and trying to keep up with and enact business change, you need to be able to recognize the facts that surround your circumstances and manage how they interact with the situation you’re facing.

Thinking about business change, but not sure how to move on it? I’ll make it easy for you.

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