Buyer Beware: Fix or Curation

Shelley SmithBlog

buyer beware

I receive several calls a week asking for a program to ‘fix’ a problem. Of course, I want to help the client or prospect but first I ask some clarifying questions regarding a fix or a curation. Which are they trying to accomplish? A fix is more like checking off a box, a task to say we did it. Curation happens when you analyze the entire situation, in my case the company culture, then create a plan, that leads to curation and long lasting permanent results. I always start with a unique culture inquiry tool to determine and strategize what can work or not work for them. The inquiry takes a wide view of the company’s culture.




Caveat emptor is a Latin term that means “let the buyer beware.” Similar to the phrase “sold as is,” this term means that the buyer assumes the risk that a product may fail to meet expectations or have defects. In other words, the principle of caveat emptor serves as a warning that buyers have no recourse with the seller if the product does not meet their expectations. Now I don’t know about you but training and development budgets can be hard to come by and harder when you don’t yield results. So I would caution you at doing ‘fixes’ instead of ‘curation’ as you may not get the results you are seeking. When you go to the doctor you don’t ask for the medicine before the doctor checks out your symptoms and runs some tests, do you? No, of course not.



Under the principle of caveat emptor, for example, a consumer who purchases a coffee mug and later discovers that it has a leak is stuck with the defective product. Had they inspected the mug prior to the sale, they may have changed their mind. Or if the right questions were asked up front to ensure a mug is even what you needed, then this waste of funds would not have occurred.




My name is Shelley Smith, your culture curator. A company’s culture can make or break the long-term success and overall profitability. Your employees must be aligned with your mission, vision, and values. Their behavioral needs must be congruent with the needs of your culture and motivated to those needs daily. If you would like to know more about this process of inquiry please contact me directly at or visit me on my websites to learn more and Calling all Culture Curators to join the conversation, for more information about membership, join me.