Living in 1984 - Leadership SHIFT Tip

On Friday, my youngest daughter, Grady, passed her driver’s test. As she downloaded her experience with me, it didn’t sound much different than my 1984 test in East Rochester, NY.

I believe testing is a necessity before obtaining a license, but given the current technology of backup cameras and self-parking cars are k-turns and parallel parking relevant benchmarks of a competent driver? A better test could be how focused a driver remains as they receive Snapchat streak notifications during rush hour. Just sayin’.

All this got me thinking that the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) motto could be, “We have always done it this way.”

Which are the seven most expensive words in business and life.

Although I’m not a fan of New Year’s Resolutions, I do acknowledge the value of reflecting on “what we do” and “why we do it” when we flip the calendar. It’s an opportunity to determine what we should start, stop, and continue doing to remain competitive.

But most organizations are great at continuing, ok at starting and horrible at stopping. They get sucked into the vortex of the status quo and don’t realize that the long-term consequences of their comfort zones will feel like a massive interstate pileup one day.

Traditions that honor our values are fantastic, but others like unproductive status meetings or Monday’s TPS report are just bad habits. And they may be making your organization more like the DMV than you realize.

Of course, the DMV does have an advantage. They know you need them more than they need you — even if they are still living in 1984.

Have fun storming the castle!

“Any business today that embraces
the status quo as an operating principle
is going to be on a death march.”
- Howard Schultz

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And discover how you can develop more resilience, grit, and 20 ways to become your best in my memoir, Shift: Creating Better Tomorrows. All net proceeds go to World Bicycle Relief.

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