“We don’t need to make it better”

February 8, 2013 Leave a comment

The following post has been reblogged from our amazing friends at Seth’s Blog. We hope you like it as much as we did! 

Improvement comes with many costs.

It costs time and money to make something better. It’s risky, as well, because trying to make something better might make it worse. Perhaps making it better for the masses makes it worse for the people who already like it. And risk brings fear, because that means someone is going to be held responsible, and so the lizard brain wants out.

Which is why, unless there’s an urgent reason to make something better right now, most organizations naturally don’t volunteer to improve.

Operating systems, government programs, established non-profits, teachers with tenure, market leaders, businesses with long-standing customers–these organizations are all facing an uphill battle in creating a culture where there’s an urgency to improve.

Just because it’s uphill doesn’t mean it’s hopeless, though. One of the most essential tasks a leader faces is understanding just how much the team is afraid of making things better (because it usually means making things worse–for some people).

via Seth’s Blog.

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  • Funny, from the title, I thought the rest of the statement was going to be “don’t make it better, change it completely!” It’s true that change can mean making it worse for some while making it better for others. But it doesn’t always have to be that way. Designing systems in ways that benefit and protect the most vulnerable can actually make the system better for all.

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