Monday, September 28, 2009

Looking for another street

As a CPA, I have to get a certain number of hours of continuing education each year.  The challenge is finding hours that are convenient, relevant and cheap.  Last week I attended a session on applying Lean/Six Sigma manufacturing principles to the accounting process.  Sounds riveting, yes?  Actually, it did appeal to my geeky side, and the four hours flew by, as opposed the hour I suffered through listening to how everything will change in a few years when we have to convert to International Financial Reporting Standards - I have got to win the lottery before that happens - but as usual - I digress.

At the end of the Lean Accounting session, the instructor read a poem.  I wrote down a few lines of it so I could google it and read it again.  While the poem was perfect for what we had just heard about changing how we think about what we do at work, I discovered that this poem is apparently a standard in 12 Step Programs and in therapy sessions. 

As I googled, I found that the poem is attributed to several different people, but it looks like the true author is Portia Nelson.  Ms. Nelson was an actress and an author.  She was Sister Berthe in the first movie I ever saw in a theater - "The Sound of Music."  For you soap fans, I read that she was also Mrs. Gurney in "All My Children." 

Anyhow - I just wanted to share and keep this for future reference. 


by Portia Nelson

I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost ... I am helpless
It isn’t my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in the same place, but, it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall’s a habit.
My eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I got out immediately.

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

I walk down another street.


Taryn said...

That is a very interesting poem! Great food for thought....Thanks for posting it!

penni said...

Thank you Janet. My eyesight certainly could use improvement.

Sarah said...

I hate to admit it, but I volunteered to be on the LEAN/6 Sigma team at my office, and can't wait. (geek alert)

Brian Maskell said...

Janet: You may be interested in the Lean Accounting SuperGroup.