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Pointing Fingers and Slow Death

culture Jan 11, 2023

We are currently going through the book, Deep Change by Robert E. Quinn. Fantastic book and chapter 2 is "Experiencing Slow Death". A couple things that jumped out at me were the statements, "...we practice denial." and "I seldom visit an organization free from some form of slow death." These struck me because they're both pretty obvious and really damning. We practice denial and typically in the form of rationaliztions; they many reasons why we didn't...or couldn't...or why someone else should. We may or may not deny what we see but we're pretty damn good at denying what we can do about it. I'll get to that...

The other piece was, people rarely acknowledge that THEY are the problem. And by THEY, I mean the person themselves. "They don't get it", or saying something equivalent, is a huge indictment and fails to recognize your own inclusion in the finger pointing. You're the reason for slow death in an organization. If you see something can be corrected, then DO IT! Otherwise you contribute to the decline. I'm not saying it will be easy, if was as easy as you claimed, why haven't you fixed it already? This is the slow death. The ease and comfort of externalizing all the reasons for why something is the way it is and falling back into a self-focused mode rather than doing the abnormal thing and fighting for excellence. "Excellence is a form of deviance." and the keenest way to fight the slow death. "You become excellent because you are doing things normal people do not want to do." (p. 176)