Lately I’ve been thinking about being comfortable, and how it leads one into complacency, into believing that everything is fine. That the world is fine, it’s understandable and that we know our place within it. I’ve been thinking this for a number of reasons and one of them is leading me to realize how hard it is for organizations to change.
As individuals, we know change is hard – we struggle every year to improve ourselves. We go so far as to ask peers to give critical feedback in the desire to find something to improve on. Something to make us better than we are. Seldom do we seek another path.
Often, another path is the dangerous choice, at least that’s how it appears. Its something we’re not comfortable with. It’s filled with challenges that we believe we’re not equipped to deal with. The chance for failure is higher. Perceptions can change without realizing it’s happening – brand authenticity is challenged with little warning.
What does an organization do when they feel like they’ve lost control of the message? What if they don’t understand that control is an illusion? Can change occur without destroying some portion of the organization, the control structure, or at the very least perceptions of such things?
Of course these are simply questions of those in denial.
The reality is change. Knowing what to look for, and recognizing it’s occurring is the opportunity. Finding the courage to take the step forward and question if the message is still valid is not common in many organizations. Taking action on such a realization is even harder.
It’s easier for an outsider to critique. The ability to accept outside recommendations on direction accomplishes multiple things without everyone realizing what’s happening…at least not right away. The organization gets a small glimpse of what it needs to do. It feels better about change. Leadership doesn’t have to take a leadership role, and doesn’t have to discipline anyone for challenging or stepping outside the control structure.
The point in all of this is that it’s easy to see how we get caught up in how change can be bad, that it’s far easier to stay the course we think is right rather than taking a step away and looking at our goals from a fresh perspective. To stop, listen, learn something we didn’t know (maybe many somethings), and then try something new. Its not hard to try – and an entire organization doesn’t need to be involved at the start, but someone does need to take the initiative.
Will it be you? I hope so.
Photo courtesy of Dru!