There is something about the status quo that drives me crazy. However contradictory, I also find change quite difficult. You don’t realize how much of your life is governed by routine until you have a baby and your routine is destroyed in the blink of an eye and you spend the next six months adjusting to a new one. And once that routine is established you feel like your life has some semblance of control again. The reason people like rollercoasters so much is because they like the feeling of losing control for about 180 seconds at a time, and only because they are handing that control over to an over-engineered multi-million dollar machine named after a fictional super-villain. We like the feeling of giving up control, as long as it’s just a feeling. I hate the status quo, as long as I don’t have to change to alleviate it. It seems the more an organization grows, the tighter its revolution around the status quo becomes and the more control it retains.
As a Startup, everything is always in flux. A single conversation with a customer in your first year can change your entire go-to-market strategy. The only control you could hope to illicit is what you wear to work every day. From that point on, the trauma of constant change with no control for extended periods of time creates a vacuum for stability that will never be filled. Most clinical psychologists I know would call that co-dependency.
Organic structures are constantly in flux; consistently growing, through predictable cycles of expansion and contraction. Seasons, if you would. They are hardwired for change. They can’t stop growing, learning, reproducing, expanding, adapting. They are hardwired to live. And life in our world required that of them. And so too is it with humans – and so too is it with human systems. Why is that from the time a company is founded it’s like the cement has been poured? We see it all the time – the way we do things becomes the way we’ve always done them, and change comes at the disgrace of our forefathers.
Organic structures are hard-wired to reproduce, humans included. And with reproduction comes change. We insulate our systems from change because change is hard and uncomfortable and requires the abdication of control. So, we stop creating. We stop taking risks. We stop innovating. We stop dreaming. Because, after all, creation starts in the imagination and is manifested first in our dreams.
We need to dream again.