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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Want Banality?

We often seek to fix organizational problems, or set organizational agendas, through committees.  Committee work almost always seeks the “average,” like water seeks it’s own level.  

Sticking with that analogy, the result is the same as that between observing a stagnant pond or observing a magnificent waterfall, both the result of water seeking its own level.  

Our policies/procedures in organizations either activate and encourage energy, growth, and the carving of new paths (like the waterfall), OR they promote the status quo, stagnation, and slow but certain death (like the stagnant pond).  

We get to choose…


  1. Fantastic analogy. I just sat through a soul-killing couple of days of inservice where the school gave a lot of lip service to seeking excellence, but ultimately created processes that mired themselves in their own status quo. These meetings of compromise and least-offensive decisions remind me of Milton's depiction of the deepest level of hell with Satan flapping his wings so hard to escape that he freezes the ice around his own feet.

  2. Been there, experienced that. The worst part is that I am also too often guilty of DOING that. I never seem to completely win that battle to provide autonomy, purpose, and mastery into the work place (see Daniel Pink video on that topic).

    It is such a temptation to operate and think around the lowest common denominator (when it comes to activation of organizational processes related to people). What an ugly price we pay when we succumb to that temptation.

    Uh oh! My feet are feeling rather cold...


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