“As a dog returns to his vomit, so a fool repeats his folly” is an aphorism which appears in the Book of Proverbs — Proverbs 26:11. Its meaning is that fools are stubbornly inflexible and and while proclaiming new plans they will always revert back to old behavior knowing full well it won’t produce new results.
Leaders who do not address such organizational behaviors are being foolish.
The Moments of Truth
Every organization faces moments of truth. These moments come as surprises to management yet the willing workers have been predicting such moments under their breath for many, many moments in time.
Moments of truth show up is different forms. Customers who find inconsistency in their service, breakdowns, delays, excuses and the lack of urgency for change. Suppliers feel these moments as their accounts receivables from your organization go from 30, 60, 90 and more days before any payment is received. Your accounting department staff watch as A/P exceeds A/R and cash on hand.
Those inside and outside who try to bring new knowledge and instill a sense of urgency into Leadership and Management get dismissed or pushed aside. Ironically instead of standing up and leading immediate required changes at all cost most organizations bunker down and do the same things over and over with the same people leading the repetitive behavior. Sounds a lot like foolishness.
Steve Little, in his books The Milkshake Moment: writes: Why don’t more organizations recognize the need to change and have more Milkshake Moments? For one, organizations tend to breed managers, not leaders. But managers are not what we need in these constantly changing times. Simply managing to meet the status quo will not help foster growth in the future. Sustainable growth requires the guidance of a true leader who looks to the future, grabs opportunities, and unleashes everyone’s full potential. Too often, managers within organizations keep making the same stupid mistakes. Like alcoholics following in the family footsteps, they tend to keep managing the same way they were managed, despite having firsthand evidence it doesn’t really work. Most of their systems are set up to perpetuate existing processes, regardless of their effectiveness. People don’t like change at all, and if they must change, then it becomes a manager’s job to over think the transformation and make it even more complicated.
In periods of constant change your moment of truth will arrive. It may come in different forms and messages but know that it will come. The issue is will you, and your organization, be ready to embrace it, lead it by changing what needs to change at all cost? Will you step into an unknown future that can only be defined by your ability to adapt to a constant state of change?
There is only a few things you can do about change. Lead it, follow it or ignore it and perish.