We seem to be experiencing the world’s wettest drought right now. I read in the Metro that the Met Office have stated that the drought will continue, because the downpours of the last fortnight are ‘the wrong sort of rain.’

I just love that. I love how English it is, in every aspect. We wanted a dry spell, and now we’re being doubly punished for it!

The idea of ‘the wrong sort of rain’ might sound ridiculous, but solutions to problems are rarely 1 to 1 simple. In fact, I’d posit that if you have a 1 to 1 problem, you don’t really have a problem at all, you just have a chain of cause and effect. If all you need to address an issue is to acquire something, it’s simply a matter of doing just that.

But if your problem requires an integrated solution, then acquisition alone isn’t going to cut it. In fact, these are the sort of situations where you can get too much of a good thing, or resources going to waste. You say you need more traffic on your website. But what is that traffic for, and what is it going to do? You need to start at the bottom, creating a system that can effectively handle and utilise that traffic, before you go out hounding for more. Otherwise it’s just a waste of energy. You get what you wanted, but it doesn’t do you any good – the wrong sort of rain!

This reminds me of a situation we used Lumina Spark to address. A fairly major client was having integration problems after a merger. They absolutely had all the resources they needed: the talent and tools available to them were immense. They had excellent people, but they were still struggling to maximise results.

What was required – and what Lumina Spark provided – was a ground floor approach. The resources were already there, they just needed a better atmosphere and process to make use of them.

The Met Office are being a bit glib when they say it’s the wrong sort of rain. What they mean is that it’s the wrong sort of ground, and the wrong season. Two years of drought have left the soil rock solid, so the rain tends to run off. Because it’s spring – and because of the burst of really good weather we had about a month ago – there are also lots of leafing plants about, and these tend to drink up a lot of the moisture.

We can’t do much about the ground (although come to think about it, we can’t do much about the rain either). But that’s Mother Nature, not human nature. There is rarely a workplace system so entrenched or stagnant that it can’t be improved or removed.

Rather than looking for new resources – rather than looking to acquire – to solve a problem, ask yourself whether the failure is not with acquisition but with integration. The better your integration strategy, the more you can extract from resources, even if they’re scarce. You might also find that it’s easier to adapt to different avenues of supply, even completely novel ones, so that you never have ‘the wrong sort of rain.’