Lamont’s Taxonomy of Direness

Maslow has his hierarchy, Bloom has his taxonomy. I thought it was time I contributed something to the sum of human understanding.  (About time, I hear you say?)

I hope that this diagram will be helpful in team meetings, project huddles and boardrooms throughout the business and public sector worlds. Its aim is to help you answer the question ‘How worried should I be?

When the system is found to have up to three duplicate entries for all employees and that’s three times the number of licenses you bought – is it a Concern?  Or is it a Challenge?  When the diversity policy is failing to gain purchase because a senior manager is a racist twat, is this a Challenge or a Barrier? When the outsourcing policy you brought in to reduce headcount means you spend as much in three months on contractors as you would have needed to employ two eager geeks for ten years, it might be one man’s Issue and another man’s Wake-up Call. Now you have a common visual hierarchy on which to pin your anxiety, based on years of research (none of it, I admit, in the public domain), and an appropriate level of response.
Pyramid with, from bottom to top, Issues, Concerns, Challenges, Barriers, Wakeup Calls
Concerns:  break a mild sweat and resolve to prepare a little before the next teleconference

Issues: make a note to speak to someone before the blame can be laid at your door

Challenges: dig out every email you’ve got on the subject and send them to your line manager to ensure your ass is covered; if you don’t have them, make them up

Barriers: copy the emails in to lots of people and dust off your CV

Wake-up Calls: dust off your passport and withdraw your savings or –  if you’re a senior leader – get head-hunted for a higher salary with the competition

My work here is done.