The Mess We’re In

Last week I mentioned I was reading SNAP Selling by Jill Konrath and highly recommended it. There were several points that stuck out to me as I read it, and one of them was a quote from Ronald Reagan. Reagan commented that the Status Quo really means “the mess we’re in”. I believe this goes beyond Re-Routing Your Routine because in my opinion it’s not necessarily about changing the way things are, but CHALLENGING them.

It is rather easy to accept and maintain the status quo: the nature of our relationships, the tasks we complete on a daily/weekly/monthly basis, the processes that surround us at work. It’s simple to say “That’s how we’ve always done it” and discount any new idea. The challenge comes when we start asking why. Why do we do the things we do? Is it habit? Does it accomplish what we need? Is it efficient? Are there better ways? It’s challenging because naturally we fear what the answer will be: we need to change.

Now I’m not necessarily saying the status quo is a bad thing. Is it possible that upon reflection, we determine that our status quo is the best result; but what’s important is we ask. I would however argue that there is no utopia, no perfect system, no super-method; therefore it seems obvious to challenge “The Quo”.

The organization I work for is going through significant change and as with many organizations past and present, we are experiencing growing pains. Why? Because it’s HARD to move from the status quo! It forces people to change they way they think, move, interact. If tomorrow I decided I would put my left leg in my pants before my right, it would feel weird. I would have to think carefully about what I’m doing, and it’s likely that I’d fall over.

If we can consistently address “the mess we’re in” by asking questions and challenging the norm, we will get better, we will continue to succeed.

Lingering questions:

  • What would you like to change about your “mess”?
  • What is the biggest obstacle to overcome?
  • What’s the first step?
  • How would things be different/better?

Thanks for reading and comments always welcome!

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