This is a philosophical statement. It is intended to spark thinking and examining.
“Standard social and business practices* are built on certain assumptions – shared understandings that have evolved from older beliefs and conditions. And while circumstances may have changed since the start of these practices, their continued use feels right and true to us, regardless of whether they have evolved to keep up with the pace of change. In just such a way a business culture arises and perpetuates itself, perhaps long after its usefulness has passed.”
— Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander (emphasis mine)
* And personal practices too…
I really like the way they put it up there: …their continued use feels right and true to us. Because it just does, doesn’t it? “This is how it’s done” or “this is how it is,” we think/say, and off we go on autopilot to follow down the same well worn, known, and comfortable path.
We’re born into a social world and inherit all this ‘common’ knowledge and ‘truths’, and we decide many more things as we go along, and soon things are chugging away quite handily on their own without our involvement or attention, carrying us for a ride. We’ll even do things we know don’t produce the outcome we most desire because it’s comfortable and known (which is a wild topic for a whole other post). And so on we all go, from our personal selves to society, through household to country to – for some things – the world.
When we roll our eyes at work for some perceived inanity we have to deal with, it’s birth was no different than the unseen and unexamined inanities we hold and act out in our own lives. When we see them, we can slap an expiration date sticker on them, let them phase out, take stock of all aspects, and create anew from intentions.
It may be little tweaks. It may be wholesale transformations. But it will now be worthy of guiding our action.