Views from the Hills by R. E. Stevens, GENESIS II (The Second Beginning) E-Mail

Is it the Wrong Comparison?

How often do we overlook an opportunity as a result of making the wrong comparison?  Let me explain.  Recently in discussing the curriculum at a local grade school, suggestions were being made for additional classes.  The new classes being suggested including the following:

        advanced math        physical sciences        computer usage        public speaking        logical thinking
        problem solving        debating classes        languages                  political science

I was surprised at some of the responses.  There were people reluctant to consider the introduction of new curriculum.  The evaluation of the school was already very high.  It was even argued that there were schools in the area that had some of these classes and the school's evaluation as well as the assessment of the students was lower than our school's assessment.  The assessments may be true but the comparison is inappropriate.  There are too many variables present when comparing the merits of a class via a total school or even student to student comparisons.  The correct question is "Does the presence or absence of a specific class affect the specific student and how or in what way?"  The question is not whether the students receiving the additional classes are more competent than our students but will our students benefit from the classes?

How often in business do we look at a change in a competitor's brand and conclude that the change was of no value because it did not appear to benefit the competitor's brand?  That change, whether it is a change in a physical attribute, a performance change, addition of an additive, a new promotion, a package change, or whatever, did not appear out of the blue.  There were reasons to believe that the change would benefit the competitor's brand, we should ask ourselves, would it benefit our brand?  The real comparison should be the assessment of our brand with and without the change.

Don't pass up an opportunity by making the wrong comparison.

Some comparisons are obvious, such as:  "Being over the Hill" is much better than being "Under It."

The following saying seems to be appropriate for the two examples above:  

        "The early bird gets the worm," but "the second mouse gets the cheese."

Or an appropriate saying at this time for this Views, "A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking."

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