Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty together again.
Organizations are like Humpty Dumpty: sooner or later they are at risk of a great fall. GM took a great fall when Toyota and Honda came along. It took a lot of change and time, but GM eventually made it back together again. Blockbuster was pushed off the wall by Netflix; they never put things together again. Ask your kids about Blockbuster, you’ll get that blank-stare “what are you talking about” look. Sometimes companies jump off the wall (Lehman Brothers—risk and Enron—dishonesty) and sometimes they slowly slide down the wall to the bottom (newspapers and telephones). All the king’s horses and men couldn’t put Humpty Dumpty together again, and if you wait until it’s too late, you may not be able to put your pieces together again.
The Coronavirus has knocked a lot of organizations off the wall: airlines, live entertainment venues, restaurants/bars, tourism, malls, churches, and many more. Racial unrest is shaking the wall of our society (with hopefully a good outcome). If you are expecting a return to the “2019 normal”, forget it; that normal has already fallen off the wall.
Conventional wisdom has been “if it’s not broke, don’t mess with it.” But the reality is: if it wasn’t broke before, it probably is now (or will be). Wise leaders—while working to survive in this pandemic year of 2020—are also looking ahead to 2021 and after. Technology will be different. Customers, clients, and congregations will be different. Demographics will be different. Competition will be different. The economy will be different. The question is: Will your organization be different or will you take a great fall? If you are going to be different, now would be a good time to get started.
[By the way, great falls can also happen in your personal health, finances and relationships. Get started in those areas as well!]
If this post was interesting and useful, please forward it to a friend.
© Copyright 2020 by Dick Wells, The Hard Lessons Company
"The best way to lead people into the future is to connect with them deeply in the present."
Kouzes & Posner
Great post, Dick – a well-written and articulate “wake-up call” to many. I hope they listen.