The 60-Second Consultant

By Timothy Bentley

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Who Stole The Bride's Jewelry?

13 August 2019

by Timothy Bentley

The wedding celebration was beautiful. An impressive dining tent stood in spacious grounds around the family home. A 7-piece orchestra played our favorite music. Off-duty police officers politely helped guests park their cars.

A charming bride and groom, excellent food, bright sunshine, and 100 happy guests.

Well, 99.

Before supper, someone spotted an invited guest sneaking into the master bedroom and closing the door. Moments later, a child spotted a necklace dangling from his pocket.

Arrested development

High drama ensued. The police arrived within seconds, of course, the highlight of a pretty slow day. They made the arrest, recovered money and jewelry, and we got on with the party.

For the rest of the evening, 99 of us had a wonderful time.

But I'm still thinking about the hapless character who attempted this farce of a robbery.

I've got some theories

Compared with the hosts, I imagine he was poor, maybe desperate. Relative to their happiness, he likely felt deprived. Among the cliques on the lawn, he was probably an outsider.

Applying a rather limited criminal mind to that dilemma, he headed for the bedroom.

Desperate people in the workplace

You can never be sure when employees who are chronically desperate or disaffected, like our thief, will decide to even the score, create a little mischief, help themselves to the crown jewels.

Whether or not they're successful, there's no policy, no regulation, no insurance, that can mitigate the losses, in time and money.

But as corporate citizens, we are not altogether helpless.

We can keep the lines of communication open for everyone, including those who are less attractive or accomplished.

We can help those who feel like outsiders to know they are welcome, respected, and part of the team.

It's a start in avoiding bigger problems, helping them feel more connected to our shared commitments.

That's not just smart management, or clever problem regulation.

It's also common decency. It's treating people as we would like to be treated.

Admittedly, this strategy won't dissuade those who are criminally inclined.

I'm guessing that no pleasant, respectful conversation would have diverted our jewel thief from his doomed and desperate adventure.

[A 60-Second Consultant encore.]

Timothy Bentley is Chief Operating Officer of Panoramic Feedback.