Better the devil you know


With everything that goes on around us, it’s very easy to wish that different issues could be changed, by making sure new people were in charge, rather than the ones we have to deal with at the moment.

Back when I was a teenager, I used to read a magazine called MAD, for you that don’t know it, it was a comic magazine with borderline humor, more or less for adults, rather than for kids.

I still remember on story they had with the title “Are you satisfied now?” followed with different situations and issues where you have tried to change different conflict situation into something better.

Two examples that I still remember is where you have finally managed to convince your daughter to find a new boyfriend because you don’t like the present one, and she shows up with an even worse new boyfriend.

The other one is that you finally managed to convince your wife to go to therapy and the she comes home from therapy and says that you are the problem.

There were dussins of quite funny examples to pick from, but my point being’s that it is not always the case that changes turn into something better, especially when you cannot control the outcome.

In business a company that fails can go bankrupt, and start up again, in real life it might not be so easy to come back to privies suppliers and expect them to supply you without any additional demands.

A country that changes government or leaders by revolution, assassination or cue will suddenly be in a rather difficult situation, but not necessarily in a better one.

At the same time, in the rest of the world it is not necessarily that we are better of by having to interact with new management, especially if they are even worse than the later one we had to deal with.

Recently I was asked by a client abroad what to do with suppliers that cut of deliverers and demanded higher payment before starting to supply again, even tough they had written agreements between them with clear damage clauses and rules of engagement.

Some of the suppliers , decided to play hardball, so the contacts were terminated and handed over to the layers, other were put on hold and the suppliers came back after a few weeks when they realized that the client would not budge to black mail.

Once the power game was settled and precedence was established between client and suppliers, they renegotiated some of the contracts with suppliers that now understood that the could not pressure the client into submission.

In some cases they now have even better relationship with some of the old suppliers due to that each and everyone has respect and knows the consequences if one decises to challenge the relationship.

A Minister of defense said recently “If you want to advert conflict you have to be ready to fight” once your opponent understands the cost of not agreeing then they will consider their next move very carefully.

I have several good examples from the real business world of different conflicts that has shaped the relationships into an even better one between different companies.

Sadly I cannot say the same with countries and the worlds history, in most cases nations tend to never forget, and conflicts tends to come back and  haunt  generations after generations.

After the Great War the world said it was the war that would end all wars, after the Second World War we entered the Cold War and now we are sadly enough back to Russias Peter the great era, a time in history that just pawed the road for even more wars.

The world is basically going in circles rather than forward, I am now seriously considering Elon Musk idea about that we have to move into space, so we don’t end up as the dinosaurs here on earth, not because I worry about a comet, more about a possible nuclear war that would end all wars for an eternity.

Regarding the development in Ukraine we should do everything we can to support Ukraine in anyway we can, they have the spirit to fight and the spirit to endure any hardships, out of the two forces in the world, the sword and the spirit, never has the sword won over the sprit, let’s hope it stays that way.

Bell Blomquist Consulting
Managing Director