Recently, a friend challenged me when he said, “no growth comes from the status quo”. Although this is an area of reflection quite familiar to me, that statement generated a strong internal response. It is so easy for us to find ourselves along with our families, friends, business partners, or industries all living right in the middle of that reality, completely unnoticed.
The concept of harmony and normalcy makes sense to all of us. It feels good to be grounded however, is that really where we will do our best work and experience growth? The real challenge comes into focus for me when we go deeper and start discovering a protective spirit around the “SQ”. I would like to further explore this dynamic with your assistance.
Why do we protect the “SQ”?
- A desire to have a harmonious environment
- Not interested in making waves
- Looking for balance
- Not operating within a place of confidence and trust that ideas and opinions will be well received
- Lacking advisors or individuals that challenge us
- Collaboration is a secondary option
- We have not learned innovation
- Cultural beliefs that things can’t change
- Lack of know how
- Missing resources
- Conditioning, misleading us to believe things will always be this way
- Change is viewed as a management process instead of an opportunity for growth
- The most limiting of all, fear
How do we protect the “SQ”?
- We stop listening
- Request for feedback is either not present or insincere.
- Ineffective communication: too much, too little, unimportant, false sense or lacking urgency, dismissive, ambiguous
- Keeping our teams busy
- We stop looking for efficiencies
- We convince ourselves that everything is exciting and must be championed. “The TPS report is now available in four languages. Isn’t that amazing?”
- We don’t welcome new ideas
- Varied experiences and differing views are not actively included onto our teams
Where does it happen?
- Face to face
- Personal and business communication
- Board rooms
- Community groups
- Church, etc.
Do we have the personal and professional diagnostics in place to help us realize when we are looking past our ability to be our absolute best? Are we willing to settle for limited growth? Are we willing to have limitless possibilities become a part of our measurements for success?
I suggest just a few considerations:
- Open the lines of communication
- Make challenging the Status Quo an integral part of how you determine health and well-being both personally and professionally
- Create an initiative to evaluate current “SQ” conditions.
- Use Status Quo solely as a temporary location, not the destination
- Be willing and accessible to receive challenges
- Make growth and vitality criteria for success
- Embrace change. Encourage your leadership teams to better understand, prepare for and prosper under changing conditions. Lead the charge!
- Reward and recognize those pursuing possibilities, as that is where we will witness the next great idea come to life.
Don’t settle and…..Lead On!