Are you killing opportunities out of fear?

Seth Godin has a great post up this morning in which he asks whether leaders aren’t stifling opportunities out of fear.  He starts out by asking if we really want to get better, or if we’re too afraid of the effects change might bring.

Better means change and change means risk and risk means fear.
So the organization is filled with people who have been punished when they try to make things better, because the boss is afraid.
-Seth Godin

When you punish the people who are trying to change things for the better you lose them. Click To TweetWhen you punish the people who are trying to change things for the better you lose them. They might not leave, but they’ll surely disappear in place. Engagement is the latest buzzword, but I don’t think many have realized that “the enemy is us.” The Corporate Immune System blocks change. The ones who might make the organization great are instead relegated to roles of quiet frustration. The long, slow slide towards oblivion continues apace.

pablo

And so the patient gets the prescription but doesn’t actually take all the meds.
And the bureaucrat feigns helplessness because it’s easier to shrug than it is to care.
-Seth Godin

I’ve often thought the shruggie (¯_(ツ)_/¯) ought to be the mascot of such managers as they eschew support and at times actively work against change. This cannot stand. If leaders are blocking change they’re not leaders. Help them see the importance and value of change. If they’re unable to do so, they’re likely in the wrong role.

The safe path may seem the less risky one, but it's one that's headed straight toward obsolescence. Click To Tweet

The safe path may seem the less risky one, but it’s one that’s headed straight toward obsolescence. The road less traveled may be fraught with unknown dangers, but it’s the only one that offers growth, learning and opportunities to make meaningful change.

Create room for your people to experiment, or at least get out of the way. Make failure an acceptable part of doing business and help others learn from it. Challenge people to recast your business and support ideas which show promise. Do it now.

Create room for your people to experiment, or at least get out of the way. Click To Tweet

Businesses need to evolve to suit the changing circumstances in which they operate. If you’re uncomfortable with that, the dust bin of history will gladly prepare a place for you.

 Businesses need to evolve to suit the changing circumstances in which they operate. Click To Tweet

Make your choice and report for duty.

 

Featured image: Flickr/Joe Thorn