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Now That's Just Cold

Frozen_dead_guy_days I know, I know... I'm on vacation in the Rockies... I shouldn't be blogging... but this one was just too good to pass up.

My best bud and host for the weekend, Maury, took me on a field trip to Nederland, Colorado this morning after I arrived. Evidently, many years ago, a man named Bredo Morstoel thought it would be ... um... cool to try cryogenics. The problem is that he didn't know all the nifty liquid nitrogen tricks that Walt Disney did to "enhance immortality" ... so he relied on ice... lots of it... constantly replenished.

So every year around the beginning of March, the town of Nederland holds a festival to celebrate this lunacy: Frozen Dead Guy Days.

Um... yeah...

Who'd be so silly, right?

How about your boss? Your VP? Human Resources? Your company? Your church? Your political party? They celebrate frozen dead guys every day. They call them policies, procedures, processes, sacred cows, if-it-ain't-broke-don't-fix-it, paradigms, platforms, doctrines, ideologies and numerous other silly euphamisms. Things that the company or organization or "movement" has long since outgrown and decided are no longer relevant or add value.

And yet we celebrate them. They've become frozen in our minds as a reality. We can't imagine life without them. So we don't.

I'm torn on this one... I absolutely LOVE the irreverence of this celebration. The annual posters are collectors' items.

Would I personally celebrate a frozen dead guy? As my clients and students find out daily, I personally prefer to melt the ice and plant them in the ground.

Just some Friday silliness to share with you all.


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I find myself stuck in a company that is "old school" at best. This company is in the financial world and no matter what I do, leadership just keeps trucking along in the same old stuffy ways. Thoughts on being a change agent in this environment?

Timothy Johnson

JT, there are a lot of issues at play here:

1. The culture of the organization. Some companies are completely and totally resistant to change (including churches and schools). For change management, look up the definition of futility.

2. It could be your delivery. How are you selling your ideas? Are you building a real business case, or are you delivering your ideas in a condescending or threatening tone? (I'm not accusing you of anything, but I have seen this backfire on well-meaning individuals.) Remember: you're in sales, and the "product" is your ideas. The "hard sell" rarely works.

3. It's usually better to ask forgiveness than wait for approval. Prove to them your ideas will work. Create a prototype, survey customers, try it out on your own and show them the results. Results always sell better than ideas.

If there are additional pieces of the puzzle I'm not considering, please share!

Crysta Wille

In Seminary, we continually examined Tradition (with a capitol T) and tradition (with a lower case t). It seems that once we get pushed toward a corner where norms are challenged because they are out dated or illogical, we revert to that which gives us comfort--the predictable. So many companies, churches and schools stick with something they remember as comfortable and to deviate is to risk failing.

Fear of failure derails innovation.

Timothy Johnson

Great thoughts, Crysta. One has to wonder where that line is crossed between tradition and TRADITION (and why I'm suddenly hearing the soundtrack to Fiddler on the Roof going through my head). When and how do our stupid dead guys actually become frozen into the institution?


I lived in Eldora, the town ABOVE Nederland for years and absolutely loved the celebration! Its a tongue in cheek approach to death that is all too rare here in the US. Forget thinking out of the box, this is living out of the box! Hah! Like your thoughts.

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