Lotions and Potions

What’s worth more, a daily skin tightening cream that makes a patient feel firm and supple and thin, or a tummy tuck that actually makes a patient thin?

What’s more more, a KPMG study, performed by 30 analysts, that demonstrates a plant must be closed, or an organizational pscyhologist spending time with the management team so that they gain enough confidence and communication skills that they actually grow the business?

What’s worth more, a divorce lawyer (who creates something permanent) or a mediator, who sometimes saves a relationship?

Are placebos worth more than surgery? Is an inspirational management book worth more than a Wall Street banker?

I was talking with a plastic surgeon over dinner, and the chasm couldn’t have been more clear. Western medicine is arranged around the permanent, the measurable, the knife. Yet people, many of them anyway, would rather spend money on the potion or the lotion that somehow promises a more magical solution.

Until robots on the factory floor get a checkbook, we’re still going to be busy selling to people, not machines. And people care a lot more about first impressions and psychological satisfaction than they care to admit.