What Happens If We Don't Change?

Unfortunately, the one question that is rarely heard when a company embarks upon rapid change is, “What happens if we don’t change?”

Chip Conley, Rebel Rules

In the early stages of most businesses, the person in charge may as well get business cards that say: Chief Instigator.

Nothing is ever as good as they’d like & everything is considered a work in progress.

Then something happens once the brand has gotten a bit of a foothold. That same person starts to resist the very kinds of change toward which they once pushed.

An employee has an idea that seems just as likely to fail as it does succeed. A client makes a suggestion that would require a lot of work upfront for an uncertain payoff. Opportunities abound & each one demands another decision.

In the beginning, change is relatively easy to contend with because of the inherent risk already embedded in the act of starting something new, of creating something from scratch. Even the most positive & confident among us can’t help but recognize the very real chance of it all not working out.

But as we evolve beyond that stage, as the risk of failure fades like a distant shore, too often we steel ourselves against change. It becomes far easier to imagine a failure due to action than it does one resulting from inaction.

What happens if your members get bored, though? What happens to your coaches when they stop being challenged, when they stop learning, when you stop creating the room for them to grow? What happens to your passion when you settle & when you stop instigating?

The answers to these questions, certainly, isn’t to embrace risk & change recklessly. The answers exist in the balance between the gas pedal & the brakes, between small experiments & big changes, between action & reaction.

ValuesPatrick Cummings