What are doing that is a relic from an earlier time?  If you had an expiration date for all of your organization’s programs…would some of them be really, really bad…even dangerous?  Ever taken a drink of a dairy product that had gone bad?  Then you get the metaphor!  But can that be true in a program?  Clearly.  But the more likely result organizationally is that the program just loses its effectiveness…kind of loses it fizz.

Peter Drucker said that "all organizations need to know that virtually no program or activity will perform effectively for a long time without modification and redesign.  Eventually every activity becomes obsolete (January 4th, The Daily Drucker)!"

I’m thinking…that’d be good for lots of people to really come to grips with!  Think of all the things that your organization is still doing that were designed to meet the needs of a customer that no longer exists!  Are there any that immediately come to mind?  Drucker maintains that there is no institution more prone to maintain irrelevant programs than government…but I have to say I can think of one!  Maybe you can to.

So…what to do?  I think for starters you could determine what you’re trying to do.  What are you calling a win in your organization.  If you do the hard work of determining that first it is much easier to then evaluate what you’re doing that no longer fits.

Once you’ve clarified what a win is, the next step is to carefully evaluate your programs to determine which of them provide the best steps toward your goal.  If they no longer fit or lead to where you’re going…then you’ve got to at least be honest about how that energy is being spent.  Let’s be clear though…if that honest reflection doesn’t lead to the elimination of those programs that no longer contribute it will lead to sleepless nights!

Organizational Inertia