If there is a fundamental question it is this one: If my organization went away tomorrow would anyone notice? Ever asked that one? Ever asked it about yourself?
It’s kind of a George Bailey question. Have I made any difference? Does my life matter? I think most of us ask it about ourselves and even about our organizations. I wonder how many organizations ask it. That probably is the key. After all, even if most of us are asking it personally if the organization itself isn’t even aware of the question…well, then it’s just business as usual. Until it isn’t.
Bill Taylor has a good take on this over at the Mavericks at Work blog. He writes that,
"what both senior executives and rank-and-file employees wonder and
worry about are basic matters of meaning and purpose. Am I proud to be
part of this company? Does what I do matter—both to my colleagues and
to the outside world? If my company went away tomorrow, or if I didn’t
show up for work, how many people—if anybody—would notice?"
That’s it, isn’t it? At least that’s part of it. I really believe that until the organization itself is lead to ask this question you’re unlikely to see any significant willingness to change.