When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson

29 July 2006

Rob Lawrence: Impatience is a Virtue

We are all told from childhood on that "Patience is a virtue." And this is largely true. True patience is a combination of disciplined action and disciplined waiting. If we can employ it to the right ends, we can achieve goals and reap rewards that initially seem impossible or unattainable.

In organizational life, however, "patience" is often not patience at all, but rather a cop-out for avoiding meaningful action. People invoke "patience" to rationalize inaction that stems from fear, laziness, or a failure to understand what matters or how to achieve it. If you are driving needed change in your organization and repeatedly hear phrases like "We'll get to that later," "The culture won't support it," and "There's no appetite for that yet," you are not encountering patience. You are encountering complacency. And if you encounter complacency enough times, you can safely conclude you have landed in an organization that tolerates it, or perhaps even encourages it.

Consulting at the Border of Business and Technology - The Work the Line Blog

Also posted at Knowledge Work.

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