Breakthrough or Status Quo?

A Renaissance life, incorporating the best from the past, while reconciling with and resolving “wrong turns”, and continuously moving ahead with constructive creativity toward a worthy goal, usually requires a breakthrough of barriers that are stifling good potential in business, community or personal life.

Breakthroughs Come Through Detail Work

Detail work is hard, hands-on, patient face-to-face effort with REAL people in REAL places, not abstract people in conceptual markets or model organizations. 

Most people’s frustration and weariness with their situation is fostered by discontent with the status quo, with hide-bound  traditionalism of an organization, a business, a community — obescience to forms and hierarchies — not with a healthy understanding and use of traditions that are a solid foundation and reminder of core values.

Breakthroughs Start with Human Need

Misapplication of traditions (tradition for tradition’s sake) locks us into patterns that neglect resolution of human need — patterns that we must break through.  When people come into your organization, join your project, sign on for your quest for the wrong reasons, still be glad that they are here!   They will have come for their own reasons, sometimes to try to resolve problems or fulfill needs that are very personal or selfish.  Often, it is not them, but your organization that is stuck in now-empty forms — “True tales of the legendary past”. Their presence gives the opportunity to analyze tenets and mission, review and reform them to get “unstuck”.

Breakthroughs Come Where People Really Hurt

Breakthroughs come where recognition of barriers and problems occurs so that help can be provided – in either or both directions!  Stubborn pride or boredom often blocks reception of new ideas or the opportunity to deal with problems and deny help for others or for ourselves.  Instead of retreating to the safety of traditionalism, the “We’ve always done it that way before” or “We’ve never done it that way before”, face the NEED. 

Always identifying and dealing in truth, not myth, is critical to moving past superficial items of debate to the reasons your efforts exist, and to identify if and how anyone can beneficially connect with it.  Sometimes that connection comes through the recognition that they can help you regroup and grow. 

We MUST dig under our symbolic things – company statement, logo, “branding”, history, and get immediately to the foundational truths, instead of procrastinating until someone who may not be sympathetic acts first.  Their action may not be in the best interest of your art, profession, company, community or family.  

Breakthroughs Require Doing What Isn’t Done

Start with small details that affect ability to perform regardless of talent and training.  UCLA Coach John Wooden first taught his players how to straighten socks and tie shoes to avoid blisters.  You cannot become a champion if you are playing with blisters! 

Then, do what isn’t done.  Talk to strangers, competitors and issue groups.  Participate in a frank and honest peer group.  Look in the mirror and be honest with yourself!  Actually engage with “your people”!  Celebrate what has been done and who they are!

Breakthroughs Deal With Problems

Breakthroughs approach and resolve rivalries, power cliques, internal dissention, and traditionalism that block innovation and creativity.  If not dealt with, they WILL stifle breakthrough, except a deadly breakthrough to entropy!  Status quo is closely related to entropy.  Stasis means death in most systems.

Are you preparing for “Breakthrough” or abdicating to “Status Quo”?


About randysrules

From a professional background in architecture, community and regional planning, urban design, leadership, and fine arts, this blog provides insights on ethics, leadership, architecture/planning/urban design, Venice, and whatever intrigues me at the time. Enjoy!
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