“If it ain’t broke…” Thinking Leads Nowhere

“If it ain’t broke…” Thinking Leads Nowhere

ROSABETH MOSS KANTER (Evolve!/2001) likens the constant change happening today to the croquet game in Alice in Wonderland, a game in which “nothing remains stable for very long, because everything is alive and changing.”

Robert Kriegel adds, “Not only is everything changing, but everything exists in relationship to something else that is changing.” He suggests, “If you or your products don’t grow, improve and evolve, as in nature—they (and you) will face extinction.” Faced with this understanding we quite often either freeze and do nothing or get into a frenzy and begin to change everything.

Certainly, change must become a part of our orientation. It’s difficult to be a leader today without that orientation. However, the changes must be calculated changes and not a reaction to perceived pressures or change based on the shallow “new-is-better” mind-set. As part of our ongoing maintenance (and it should be ongoing)—personally and organizationally—we must take a look at what should not be changed (and some things shouldn’t) and what might be or could be changed. Core values don’t change, but methods (approaches) often do. If these things are not considered in advance, the tendency will be to make rash and impulsive moves from one ditch to the other when the pressure to change begins to loom over us.

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