Make Things Better – A Controversial Statement?
24 April 2019
Who would think that “making things better” was a controversial statement? Certainly not I.
But, according to Seth Godin, there are two major issues creating pushback to making things better:
1. Some people have difficulty with the notion of “better.” First, it implies that what they have at present isn’t good enough. Second, improving things requires change, and many people resist change, find it unsettling or even frightening. Especially if “making things better” requires creative destruction of habits of thought and action they are familiar and comfortable with.
2. Others take issue with the idea of being “made” to do anything. Why is it up to them? Why should they be the ones going out on a limb?
Some people see those in power and authority as resistant to change, and go along by nature. Others simply resist change – change takes time, effort, thought and energy; it’s much easier to stick with what you know.
Some who might rather implement change for the better – a new software package, streamlined procedures – feel rocking the boat might endanger their position.
And some just don’t want to take the blame if something goes wrong.
Still, we all stand on the shoulders of those who bucked the tide, and made things better. And we get cleaner drinking water. Safer food, in greater variety, at relatively cheaper prices as time passes.
Let’s take telephones – In 1920, a call from New York City to Los Angeles cost $15.65 for the first three minutes – adjusted for inflation, that would be $198.91 in 2019 dollars. I think everyone would agree that telephones and the services they provide have gotten much better.
If things are better, they are better because people who weren’t satisfied with the status quo made them better. These are the people who didn’t keep their mouths shut and their heads down. People who weren’t part of the problem.
They were part of the solution.
The “solution” is never final – things can always be made better than they are. Making things better is a never-ending process.
When was the last time you swam against the current to launch an improvement?
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