We all know the feeling when something is working well. You can feel the potential. You can sense the excitement. The idea is brilliant and everyone is excited. Usually there is some reward for all stakeholders and a positive attitude is contagious.
We all know the feeling we get when we realise something doesn’t work the way it worked before. It could be a job, a business, a relationship. All things change for better or for worse. Objects and actors are in various states of growth or decline.
There is a similar playbook for the lagging organisation. Leaders meet with serious faces in serious meetings and discuss how they will make small changes to solve a trend of decline or a loss of vision or purpose. These people are usually very talented at maintaining and protecting organisations and can sail the ship when the course is clear.
When the course isn’t clear and the numbers are not pointing in the right direction we need a different approach. We need a new way and we need to accept that to adopt this new way, we may need to let go of the old way.
Accepting that something is coming to its conclusion can be very hard. No one wants to admit that they are failing. No one wants to admit that the beautiful thing they loved and were loved by is leaving or gone.
Many resist change because they are afraid of what is next or they do not have the skills or knowledge to navigate through this new way forward. As Rolfe, Et Al (2001) once said “So What? Now What?”
When its time you must “accept” it is time but how do you know? You know its time because you feel that something isn’t working anymore and that feeling doesn’t go away. You know its time when you look at something and don’t see its future potential anymore. You can reminisce about its past but there is no positive excitement or vision for the future. You know its time when some or all of the stakeholders are not being rewarded any more.
Are you willing to be brave? Are you willing to say “this has run its course” and it has been great and now we need to make some big changes. Your environment changes, people change, the competitive landscape changes, technology and geopolitics change. All actors and objects are in cycle.
You don’t need to say goodbye to all things, you can help evolve where you are into what it was meant to be. Whoever and where ever you spend your time, you need to find where the growth is…