The article in this morning’s paper brought last week’s question back into the center. At the time, I was asked what I could see from outside the organization. Before replying, I reminded my conversation partner that I was looking from the outside. I had no information from the inside; my comments were based on a critique of external actions. In this context, I answered the question.
“The organization shares an aspiration to be better than others. From the outside, I cannot see that the actions are anything but the same. Given this, why should anyone expect a different outcome?”
It is a question that I find haunts everyone I know. It is comfortable to rely on yesterday’s approach; at least we know we made it. Being safe is important. Being risk adverse is natural. I would be the last person to encourage unsafe, however, I do wonder about the desire for more. How will anything be different if the actions of yesterday are the same as today?
Today’s article in the business section said that the organization’s strength rests in its ability to be different. I would observe that it is a strength shared by other organizations as well as you and I. We can be different. We can break out from yesterday’s pattern.
Three observations I find myself reflecting on this morning.
It is a choice that you and I are able to make. The power and freedom to act rests within us. It is here, in good circumstances and difficult ones, in chaos and in the quietness.
Change asks us to acknowledge the present. We must know where we are in order to know that where we are going will be different (better).
To last, we must bring all that we are into the process. A writer put it well; “In the same way that we’ve worked from our earthy origins, let’s embrace our heavenly ends.” (1 Corinthians 15.49)
Yes, we have the ability to be different. Anyone can be. We alone decide if we will take the steps to reach for our dreams.