How Often Do You Really Face Reality?

“All organisations need a discipline that makes them face up to reality” Peter Drucker

What got us to today’s success will not keep us here.  No activity will remain effective for a long time without modifications.  Eventually every activity becomes obsolete.

The ability to stop doing things that no longer serve is vital: in my life, in my business, in my family…  everywhere that humans engage.

Photo Credit: dave_7 via Compfight cc

Broken, old cars are put in the junk yard.  What are you putting on the junk heap this year? 

Peter Drucker says that the inability to stop doing anything is the central disease of government and a major reason why government is sick.  Businesses are just as sentimental about the past as bureaucrats.  Businesses are likely to respond to the underperformance of a product by increasing the activity around it.  Organisations have a high regard for “precedent”: how have we dealt with this before?

My father told me a funny story about a blue book and a green book that goes to just how dangerous this inability to stop doing even things that are no longer necessary.

We Love Yesterday

We humans come with a built in yesterday-loving-complex.  We will keep doing what we have always done unless we actively identify and stop no-longer-valid behaviours.

Economics eventually either close businesses that do not change or force them to let go of the past.  Government is unrestrained.  How about you?

What will you stop doing in 2015?

Photo Credit: dave_7 via Compfight

2 comments

  1. skmurphy · · Reply

    Great quote it’s from Drucker’s 1969 “Age of Discontinuity”

    “All organizations need a discipline that make them face up to reality. They need to recognize that the probability of any activity or programme failing is always greater than the probability that it will turn out successfully let alone that it will accomplish what it was designed to do. they need to know that virtually no programme or activity will perform for a long time with modification and re-design. Eventually every activity becomes obsolete.”

    Peter Drucker “The Age of Discontinuity”
    http://www.amazon.com/Age-Discontinuity-Guidelines-Changing-Society/dp/1560006188

    1. Thanks for the full quote 😉 wise guy Pete!

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