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Are You Botox-ing Your Organization

Joan_van_arkThe other morning, I paused to really look at myself in the mirror.  And there they were... crows' feet, laugh lines, frown lines... WRINKLES.  And you know what?  I just chuckled and went on with my day.  I figure I've earned every single line on my face (and with two daughters who haven't yet hit teenage years, there are many more to come).

There have been many interesting stories about celebrity plastic surgeries in the news.  Personally, I think people like Dolly Parton, Joan Rivers, Joan Van Ark, and Kenny Rogers all look like Jack Nicholson's Joker character from the original Batman movie.  In contrast, two of the most stunning actresses I admire are Susan Sarandon and Diane Keaton.  They have aged so gracefully and beautifully, and they embrace their age (inside and out), which in turn makes them all the more attactive.

JoanriversWhat about your organization?  Are you allowing your processes, your tools, and your thinking to mature as your business environment changes and evolves?  Or is your culture suppressing the maturation process by clinging to outdated modes of operation that worked at one time but no longer seem to fit?  There are a couple of organizations in town where I refuse to consult because their culture is so rooted in the past... they're effectively slathering mental botox on their employees and process to prevent new ideas from flourishing.  They have this "not invented here" mentality which prevents the normal lines and wrinkles of wisdom from appearing.

And these organizations don't have the patience to let true change take hold and move forward.  Their quest for results short-changes the natural processes that must occur.  David Anderson of Modus Cooperandi wrote a post talking about how they help their clients with strategic and tactical transitions:

Lasting change takes time. To do it properly can take 9 months to several years. It requires a serious commitment to achieving high maturity - quantitative management, predictability and continuous improvement - from the senior leadership.

What about your company?  Are new ideas embraced?  Are people allowed to earn battle scars?  Are the lines of wisdom shown off or are they artifically covered up to save somebody's ego?


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Mark True


Hidden in your treasure of a post is a key gem: it starts with senior leadership. If they're not buying in and allowing "maturation", then everything's botoxed!


Timothy Johnson

Great point, Mark... it really does all roll downhill. If senior leadership is modeling the behaviors to allow maturity, it permeates through the rest of the culture.

Delaney Kirk

You CAN'T have wrinkles...You were my student 18 years ago and I DON'T have wrinkles!!! Well, except for the one or two that you probably gave me!

Colin Waters

Some great points are made by you Mark. I actually passed this on to by boss who came back with a few new ideas to try for a while to see if it makes any difference. Thanks again!

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