This post is based on some inspiration from a friend/client meeting I had today with Mark Juleen. After we went over some business items we started talking about the shift in corporations and what it takes to move past the STATUS QUO. That expression to me is such an outdated corporate phrase and let me tell you why.
Status quo to me equates comfort and complacency. Mark and I chatted about how it seems that as we move along in our careers we get more and more comfortable with our current corporate situation that we fail to achieve any future vision. So what happens? We then can get stale in our approach. We are quick to say no to new ideas and new innovations. We stifle creativity in ourselves and within our team. All of this is for the sake of the “status quo” and the “it’s not broke so why fix it” mentality. I think most folks forget frog in the boiling water analogy. If you throw a frog into a boiling pot of water it will immediately leap out but if you put it in cold water and turn the heat on it does not notice the gradual temperature change and it dies. (Side note: terrible experiment…I am pro-frog)
Oftentimes our career can wind up the same way. We may think everything is peachy keen but do we really know the difference? So it behooves all of us to think past the status quo and to allow innovation to kick in. We live in a topsy-turvy economic climate that does not allow us to even think for a minute that “we got it right”. Everything about how we do business continues to shift. If we stick to the status quo then our status will become dormant.
I think that one of my issues is that this brain of mine never shuts off. I am always trying to piece the business puzzle together and work harder every day to make things fit. I have realized that it is actually impossible to fit a square peg into a round hole and for those who try just to get their way fail miserably. When you are working on a puzzle you are analyzing all the various pieces and you actually try different strategies until it all fits perfectly. That is not acceptance. That is not sticking to the status quo. That is innovation and determination.
Thoughts? What have you done to get past your “status quo” or have you helped your team? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.
Written by Jonathan Saar
I think that status quo is often dictated by corporate policies but also by corporate culture. The policies dicate that they need to be reviewed every “x” amount of months. The issue for the former is are we actually looking at and reviewing our policies? Are they important enough to reexamine. The latter is challenging in that if the corporate culture is too CYA then we’re too scared to re-examine or challenge the status quo. These situations call for leadership but also courage on the part of people who see the need to shift and change to the business but also our clients’ requirements.
Thank you for challenging a common catch-phrase Jonathan.
Jonathan Saar says
So that just means that the shake things up a bit is even more important. Â Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
Mark Juleen says
There’s a time to be compliant and there’s a time to challenge the status quo If you are going to have a default mode, I recommend challenge mode though. Good conversation Mr. Saar! Thanks for sharing it here.
Jonathan Saar says
Thanks for your comment sir. Challenge mode rocks! Enough stuffiness and more action. Things are changing too quickly and for those who stick to status quo they will be left behind.
What a great topic –
I think many times the guiding light comes in the way of – how do we heard the masses. As we grow and we take on a more diverse and less like minded set of people that work for us, [I mean like-minded in the way of an ownership, skin-in-the-game mentality] we have to keep structure or some nature of it. Or, questions like – how do we protect our downside find there way into the conversation and guide our status quo conversations. And, the more we have the more we find ways to cement it into our culture.
I also think that people hate change. Frankly – it’s hard damn work and lot’s of us hate hard damn work. Status quo is just easy. And, we like easy.
The timing of your post is classic, I suggested to a co-worker just today that we needed to have GWAR (in all their creative ways save a few (not exactly G rated) come in and do a ROCK the Cubicle concert for our office. Premise being to shake things up and open some minds. Extreme but I think it supports your point.
Great stuff J – thanks for always taking the time to put the goods out there. You rock it!
Jonathan Saar says
Thanks my friend. Love your thoughts on the value of hard work. Success never comes easy and if we find things just too easy then there is certainly something wrong. Easy gets nothing done. There is a big difference between working easy and working smart. Working smart is still outside of the status quo and provides higher tangible results.
Thanks for being here. Your expressions are always so important to me.
Lisa Z says
Great post! I have a maintenance department with 11 on our team. Half of them are definitely complacent and good with the “status quo” mentality. We are constantly re-energizing and challenging them on things they would not normally do unless pushed. My brain as well does not shut off and I am constantly thinking of the next big challenge. I hate complacency! Thanks for sharing Jonathan. 🙂
Jonathan Saar says
I love kindred spirits! Good for you for pushing to the next level. It keeps things healthy and real for sure. All my best to you as you work hard with your maintenance team and thank you for taking the time to comment.