Michael loves pie, particularly apple pie. He loves it so much he decides to take a course in apple pie making. He locates a master baker and teacher and she teaches him how to make a truly fabulous apple pie. She’s precise in what she teaches: He needs specific ingredients and he needs to apply them in a certain sequence to bake pie the best.
Michael’s completely smitten and decides to open an apple pie shop. He knows that if people taste what he tastes in his pies, they will flock to his doorstep.
Potential pie buyers stop in. A few buy apple pies. Some ask if Michael makes cherry pie, or pecan. Others are interested in apple turnovers and other apple pastries. Michael replies that if they taste his apple pie, their desire for the other products will wane fast. He could, of course, make these other pastries and pies by adding a new ingredient or changing the amounts and sequencing of the ingredients he already uses, but he took an apple pie class and damn it, he knows this the best choice for everyone.
There is another little problem: Several other apple pie shops are open in Michael’s town as well. He knows the competition will be a challenge but is convinced that he’s good and there are enough potential apple pie lovers out there to succeed.
Of course, Michael doesn’t succeed. After all, how many apple pie shops does one town (or city) really need? How many buyers want or need only apple pie?
You would never open an apple-pie-only shop like Michael did, in a town of other apple pie shops. It’s crazy to use such limiting fixed-pie thinking, right?
So why do so many mediation business owners do the equivalent with “Big M” Mediation? Why do so few mediators expand the pie of their services, remixing their ingredients to serve the needs and demands of their markets?