What’s the most dangerous phrase in the English language? Think really dangerous, like leaping off a cliff without a parachute dangerous. Ready? Here it is:
“That’s how we’ve always done it.”
When’s the last time you said that, or heard someone say that, in your organization? This year? This month? Yesterday?
Whenever it was, have that be the last time.
Nothing stays the same for long these days. Twitter feeds are updated by more than 100 million users per day1 and the average college student changes majors up to three times during his or her college years.2
So, why do we do some of the same harebrained things over and over again? It could be because change, and choice, can be intimidating. But, it can also be empowering. We don’t always have to do something because that’s what’s already in place. Instead, think critically about your decision and, using your values (and, your mission statement!), determine if it’s truly the best thing to do.
Work with your other AinA members to generate the emotional stamina to withstand hearing that your new ideas are “dumb,” or that they’ll “never work.” The world’s greatest organizations are the ones that can embrace change. Strive to be among the best.
Daring to be different is a bit like that cliff leap we mentioned earlier. It’s dangerous, but it’s worth it.