“We cling to our fairy tales until the price for believing in them becomes too high.”
“The best way to expose our ignorance is to hold on to biased ideas and opinions, because we fear giving the upper hand to the other side.”
Charles F. Glassman
Business is a tricky combination of adapting and consistency.
Letting go of shit is difficult. We all know that.
But. Knowing when to hold on to something is just as difficult.
Simplistically <1> organizations are burdened with older employees who tend to hold on based on their experience and <2> organizations are burdened with younger employees who tend to let go of existing ideas and opinions based on their lack of experience.
Both sides are stubborn fearing to give the other the upper hand.
And that is where business really needs to get its shit together. This whole ‘upper hand’ thing.
Because success isn’t about compromise it is more often about good ideas winning no matter where and when and who they come from.
When someone or a generation feels like they have the power, or run the risk of losing power, they do stupid things. Obviously, the business pays the price, not the person doing the stupid things. That is why adapting and selecting what to be consistent about should be about anything but power. It should be about creating a culture & organization in which old & new is debated and ‘the good of the organization & business’ decides what to hold on to and what to let go of.
Far too often the power structure in a business <and this can be one individual wielding an inordinate amount of power or an age group/cohort fighting for their space> holds the ‘fairy tale’ success formula, uhm, until the price for believing them becomes too high.
Unfortunately that moment is often too late to ‘fix’ what has gone wrong.
Regardless. A business’ success, and flaws, is typically driven by a couple attitudinal things <a> a general feeling that you could be doing better and <b> the virtue of the participants.
There is gobs of pressure put on a business … internally <be successful or be fired> and externally <the market is brutal on any business which does not show growth>. Even if the business has been steadily improving someone will be hammering away on either how terrible things are or how much better it can, and should, be.
Virtue of participants.
A business, in order to function efficiently & effectively, is dependent upon the virtue of the participants. A lack of virtue engenders wasteful transactions, wasteful actions and breeds an overall monitoring cost which can paralyze an organization from any movement or adaptation.
Both of those things I just shared are power. They both have the power to do good, and bad, for a business. What I mean is that the price for believing, disproportionately, in doing better is virtue – that is the price too high.
Power, ultimately, resides in, and will always, identifying what should remain consistent and when & where to adapt. All of that is organizationally driven and not individually driven. And yet … it is the individual who must assess all actions & behavior with the intent to always seek when ‘the price in believing something becomes too high.’
This is not a fairy tale.
Just know there are no shortcuts and it isn’t easy — you have to work for it.
You have to find ways <just having it as objective will not work>. You have to somehow do something, sometimes anything on occasion, all the while keeping your head on straight and go do something that saves … well … the business <which is kind of like saving the world>.