Ever hear someone say “once this whatever is over, things will relax & we can put more focus on whatever” – you can insert all manner of things into either “whatever” in that phrase. I hear it all the time and I am guessing we have all heard it & many of us have said it.
The problem is, whatever the current issue is, it is most likely going to be replaced by another issue. There is almost always some distraction from business as usual. Organisations rarely find themselves in a state of calm with little or no issues to address. I would argue that if they do, that is a concern in & of itself.
This means that the excuse of the current headache that keeps us from doing what we are supposed to do is bunk. Quite often the normal day-to-day routine is what gets dropped or adjusted to suit – we divert from the standard to deal with the unexpected. Instead of maintaining our standards & ensuring we stick to the basics – we drop the basics in favour of fighting today’s fire.
We use the fire (issue) as an excuse. And we all know what excuses are like – rear ends – everyone has one & they all stink!
Whatever today’s fire is, when it is gone; it will be replaced by tomorrow’s. Thinking that things will ever “calm down” to the point where we can finally revert to the standard doesn’t demonstrate sufficient belief in the standard. It signifies a “when convenient” standard – which is no standard at all.
As leaders, we should set the example regarding following standards. If we use the fire of the day as an excuse to ignore our own standards, what message does that send to the front line?
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/55497864@N00/18889959850″>Facts Evasion (lock)</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a>