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Using what you’ve got

There is enormous inertia—a tyranny of the status quo—in private and especially governmental arrangements. Only a crisis—actual or perceived—produces real change. When that crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around. That, I believe, is our basic function: to develop alternatives to existing policies, to keep them alive and available until the politically impossible becomes politically inevitable.

Milton Friedman 1982.

This could be a very current quote. At the moment, Milton Friedman is maybe most mentioned for his views on shareholder capitalism. Many don’t agree with them – including me – but there’s no doubt about his insight, or intellect.

It’s not just politics. How many businesses, universities, and other organisations are floundering right now because nobody had taken the time to reflect on the nature of what’s impossible?

We have been brought up, trained and incentivised to think efficiency in monetary terms. But like all business models, this model has a lifespan. It is created, grows, and becomes accepted practice, and we are not encouraged to notice when it is collapsing and needs reinventing or reorganising. And so here we are.

First the bad news.

There are no models, examples, case studies, courses, consultantsor any other palliative that will solve the problem for you. It’s down to you.

Then the good news.

There are things you can do. You know your business, market, employees, suppliers and strengths better than anybody else (if you don’t, you have a bigger problem, and there is little good news) and what you lack is perspective. Whilst you were not taking time out to consider the impossible (understandable given the pressures on you) you became wilfully blind. You believed your own story, and those round you didn’t challenge it. Things were fine. Don’t rock the boat.

What matters now is how you think. What you notice. Who you listen to. How you feel. You need challenge. To be told the things you don’t want to hear. To see the things you don’t want to see. To contemplate the things you don’t want to contemplate. with that in place, you can reflect, consider and ask for the help you need not the instant answers of those who don’t know your business like you do.

There are opportunities in the ashes at your feet.

Talk to the people who think differently to you. With whom you don’t agree. Make the effort to see their point of view and then look at your business again.

Nobody else can do it for you.

Originize was formed as an experiment at the beginning of lockdown to do just this. If you want to talk about what we’ve found, and how you might do this for yourself, get in touch. We’re happy to share what we’ve found.

Contact Originize

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