The Organizational Development Muse

Dr. Mark L. Vincent's Blog

Unfortunately Fortunate: Does organizational leadership connect to human flourishing?

Posted by Mark L. Vincent on Aug 20, 2014 7:00:00 AM

The following invites reflection from organizational leaders. Are we part of these problems or part of the solution? If our employees face these circumstances, it certainly affects employee productivity and well-being!


There once was a family–a Mommy, a Daddy, and 1.3 children. They and their pets lived in a suburban home with a deck, an entertainment room and a high-powered lawn mower. They were already thinking of their next home, but were undecided whether it would be something larger, or actually, something that moved them back inside the city.

Unfortunately, the economy tanked and the Daddy lost his job.

Fortunately, health insurance was provided through Mommy’s work.

Unfortunately, the benefit package changed and all employees at Mommy’s work must now pay 50% of the premium, with a much higher deductible.

Fortunately, nobody in the family is sick at the moment.

Unfortunately, Mommy is seven months pregnant.

Fortunately, the family wants this new child and Daddy is now available to be a stay at home parent.

Unfortunately, the family can no longer afford payments for the mini-van to haul everyone around, or the boat that it tows.

Fortunately, the SUV is already paid for, and they can sell it to make up the difference.

Unfortunately, nobody wants to buy a used SUV.

Fortunately, the family has been living in their suburban home with a deck, and entertainment room and a high-powered lawn mower for some time, so they can borrow against the equity in their home to refinance the mini van.

Unfortunately, house values dropped drastically and all the equity in their home disappeared. Even more unfortunately the bank won't loan them money to pay off other debt.

Fortunately, they are willing to sell their home and move closer to Mommy’s work. By living in a smaller home and driving less, they can make ends meet.

Unfortunately, nobody wants a suburban home with a deck, an entertainment room or a high powered lawn mower because they are all doing the same thing.

Fortunately, the family kept setting aside money for a rainy day. They took the advice of their financial planner, not to make frequent trades or worry about short-term ups and downs in the market. They took the long view.

Unfortunately, when they looked at their portfolios, many of their investments once held heavy staked in Enron, WaMu and British Airways.

Fortunately, they were young enough to file bankruptcy and start over.

Unfortunately, bankruptcy proceedings have been made more restrictive and the numbers of bankruptcies are clogging the courts. Everything is still tied up.

Fortunately, the Daddy’s parents lived nearby and everyone moved in together just in time for Grandpa’s stroke and loss of his pension.

Fortunately, they still have each other.

Profit Environment: Get Introduced!

-mark l vincent


Topics: process consulting, organizational development consulting, stewardism, Mark L. Vincent, Design Group International, Human resources


Posts by Tag

See all

Subscribe to the Mark's blog


Looking for something that isn't here? It might be in our publication archives or written by another consultant.