‘Quit talking about change. Do change!” – Futurist Jim Carroll
People love to talk about doing things. Then, they don’t do them.
Inaction is a drug and an addiction that is hard to break free from. It’s easier to do nothing than to do something. Inertia is an anchor that holds you down.
In my line of work, I see it all the time, often looking back at the actions of some of my clients. A senior VP calls, excited for the opportunity to bring me in to talk about serious strategies to deal with the disruption in their industry. We arrange for an offsite leadership meeting; a careful agenda is constructed; I lead with a rip-roaring talk that clearly outlines the nature of the challenge and opportunity in front of them if they choose to act.
And then, nothing. After the event, organizational sclerosis settles in. A culture of indecision and fear smothers their enthusiasm like a blanket; no one can make a decision on the big, bold steps that we spoke about at the event. And so over time, customers change, products become irrelevant, skills go out of a date, new competitors decimate the business model, and the organization slides into decline.
I don’t think I’ll ever figure this out, but it happens. People love to talk a great game, but they often don’t play one.