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Organizational antiques

An interesting conversation thread from the current Friends graduate cohort began with the statement, “I’m reflecting on the buzzphrase ‘historical perspective’ (something I hear a LOT and use often myself) and wondering if a bias toward “from this point forward” is more relevant. [sic] ” The discussion has proceeded to consider motives for using the phrase and how it influences outcomes.

I added my own questions: Is the phrase being used to stifle new ideas? Or, is it a preface to telling a story that spurs action? Further discussion questions motives in using the phrase: Is the motive to protect or justify a position? Continue the status quo? Is it a fear of change?

What are your organization’s antiques?

What are the processes that don’t support your goals? What are the decision-making methods that repeatedly lead to the dead-end road? What are the reports that no one has read in years? What equipment needs to be retired?

Which antiques are so valuable that you’ll pass them down to the next generation?

4 Comments Post a comment
  1. We have barred the phrase, “because that’s the way we have always done it in the past”, from our office. That philosophy might make us comfortable, but does it make us more customer service oriented. Many times…not.

    April 21, 2011
    • friesengroup #

      Agree, Bill. The question in this case is what is serving the customer experience today?

      April 21, 2011
  2. We are sensitive working with our clients to help them realize the impact the “stories” have that they are telling. It’s one thing to re-enforce the culture with the historical perspective, but if hearing about the roots discourages any new shoots from poping up, the culture and therefore the performance may never evolve. Thanks for reminding us about the importance of language.

    With a smile,
    Debbie King

    April 21, 2011
    • friesengroup #

      Thank you for adding a personal example, Debbie. Your “stories” about your experiences always connect with me.

      April 21, 2011

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