Monday, September 19, 2016

Are you addressing a pain or you just polka polka?!

I was watching Home Alone, one of my favourite classic movies, with my 8yro last week. I watched the movie several times before, but this time, a scene stopped me thinking. The scene was capturing a desperate mother trying to get to back her son who is home alone. She was at some airport trying to get any seat on any flight to get back to Chicgo. 

The airport staff didn’t help her much and then a guy appeared out of nowhere and offered to help her. 

The conversation went like:

Mother (angry): (Addressing airport staff) ...if I have to sell my soul to the Devil himself...

...I am going to get home to my son.

Airport Staff: Ma'am, if there was anything...

Mother: Do it. Do anything.

Airport Staff: - I can get you a hotel room. - What?

Polka guy: Can you excuse us for a sec? Can I see you for a second, please?

Excuse us.

You got a little bit of a dilemma.

We got a crisis ourselves.

Allow me to introduce myself. Gus Polinski.

Polka King of the Midwest? (The mother looks puzzled at him)

The Kenosha Kickers?

That's okay. I thought you might have recognized...

I had a few hits a few years ago. That's why I just...

"Polka, Polka, Polka"? Polka, polka, polka

"Yamahoozie Polka," a.k.a. "Kiss Me Polka"? "Polka Twist"?

Mother: These are songs?

Polka guy: Yeah. Yeah, we... Some fairly big hits for us.

You know, in the early '70s.

Yeah, we sold about 623 copies of that.

Mother: - In Chicago?
Polka guy: No, Sheboygan. Very big in Sheboygan.

Mother: Did you say you could help?

Polka guy: Anyway, I'm rambling on here. Our flight was canceled... we're gonna drive. See the guy in the yellow jacket over there?

He's gonna rent us a nice big van to drive to Milwaukee.

Now, I heard you had some problems getting to Chicago?

To see your kid or something?

Mother: Uh, my son. He... We left, and he's there.

Polka guy: If you have to get to Chicago, we'll gladly drive you.

Mother: - You'd give me a ride? - Sure, why not?

Mr. Polinski, in the scene, did sincerely want to help the lady, but it took him too many introductory statements!

In some cases, I see consultants try to solve a problem that is not addressing a real pain, but rather, something that they thought is the problem. When discussing a solution with a client, I always think, “What problem/pain am I addressing here?”. If I’m not adding a business value or fixing a real problem, then I just polka polka!