Every occupation has its characteristic diseases. The inability to resist solving problems is only one of the occupational diseases from which consultants suffer. Many consultants pickle their livers at business lunches, blind their eyes on voluminous reports, or bend their spines in endless meetings. But the most serious occupational disease is known as optimitis.

Optimitis can be found in anyone who is asked to produce solutions to problems. It is an inflammation of the optimization nerve, that part of the nervous system which responds to such requests as

“Give us the minimum cost solution.”
“Get it done in the shortest possible time.”
“We must do it in the best possible way.”

In a healthy individual, the optimization nerve responds to such requests and sends an impulse to the mouth to respond,

“What are you willing to sacrifice?”

In the diseased individual, however, this neural pathway is interrupted, and the mouth utters some distorted phrases like,

“Yes, boss. Right away, boss.”

– Gerald M. Weinberg, The Secrets of Consulting, Chapter 2

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