Sometimes my personal life and my Author-it professional life collide. It feels like this is happening this week. The two stories are related – just stay with me on this.
Personal life first
We have owned a Leonberger dog for the last 2+ years, originally gotten to keep the Aussie company and be his best friend. She was about 6 months old when we got her and for about 18 months, all was well in my house. The dogs played together and liked each other very much.
And then something happened.
We don’t know why but the Leonberger no longer likes the Aussie and attacks him given half a chance. This has resulted in several massive scary dog fights. Because combined, they weigh more than I do, the fights were also hard to stop. And someone is going to get badly hurt.
So we hired the trainer we’ve worked with before and did everything she suggested – kept them separate, encouraged happy interactions, etc. All of it. Right down the line. We love these dogs and want to help them be friends again.
Seven months later, it’s not working. The Leo doesn’t like the Aussie. Period. The Leo likes other dogs very much but not the Aussie. The trainer says it’s personal. And personal means we are very limited with what we can do.
After thinking about what’s best for both dogs, we’ve come to the devastating conclusion that one of them has to find a new home. Because we had the Aussie first and because he has health issues, we decided to keep him and turn the Leo over to the local Leonberger Rescue.
The hand-over happens this weekend. There is a lot of sadness and crying in our house. But it’s the right decision, regardless of what we want or how much we love the dog. And we do love her.
In the world of content development, we acquire tools and then often fall in love with them. Which is fine – it’s a happy place to love the tools you work with day in and day out.
But sometimes, the situation changes. Perhaps we discover the tool we love very much is not scalable and we’re growing. Perhaps we need a new output format and it’s really hard to get it, using this tool.
Things can change over time.
A new tool may be needed, But it’s hard because you really like the tool you have and it was such a good fit until things changed. You almost feel like a bad tool owner by changing tools.
But a smart professional understands the limits of what they are doing and recognizes sometimes you really do need to get new tools. It’s in the best interest of your content and your users to do so. It’s a hard decision to make but it’s the right decision in the end.
To help you make the decision, you may hire a consultant to advise you. If you do so, take them seriously. If you thought enough of them to hire them, then pay attention to what they recommend.
Why are these stories related?
In the end, you have to make decisions that are best for the situation, which may be very different than what you want.
I want my Leonberger to be best friends again with my Aussie. But that’s not going to happen, in the very experienced opinion of my trusted trainer (my consultant). As a result, both dogs are stressed and potentially I or the dogs are going to be badly hurt.
You may want your tool to work for your group after you add 10 more people. But if the tool was never designed for what you need now, then it’s the wrong tool. You can pretend this is all going to be OK or you can face the facts and make the right decisions.
It’s up to you.
By Sharon Burton