Friday, August 3, 2007

i-TFTD #43

1. All problems become smaller if you don't dodge them, but confront them. Touch a thistle timidly, and it pricks you; grasp it boldly, and its spines crumble.

-William F. Halsey

2. People will only change when the combination of the desire for change, the vision of the change, and the knowledge of the change process is greater than the value of leaving things as they are. This can alternatively be expressed as:

Dissatisfaction + Vision + Change Process = Cost of Change.
-Beckhard and Harris, Managing Complex Change

3. A proud man is always looking down on things and people; and, of course, as long as you're looking down, you can't see something that's above you.

-C. S. Lewis

The first has been a recurring theme here in i-TFTD. My favourite take on it is: most industries today call themselves providers of solutions. Solutions are needed only when problems exist. So all of us "solution providers" must be eagerly seeking out problems. Instead we avoid, deny, hide and spend energy finding who to blame. Funny. Most of the highly effective and successful people I have observed, have a curiousity to move towards newer problems to tackle.

The second quote is a bit abstract, from an academic source. It applies not only in an organizational context but also in personal life. We say we wish to change something but do not actually do things to change it. To avoid the prolonged dissatisfaction it is better to be aware that there are costs that we are not willing to pay for achieving the changed situation. Maybe it is a prudent decision. Maybe not.

The third reminds us to set a higher vision for ourselves rather than basking for too long in any past achievement.

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