My friend, David Foster, writes today of the seven sounds that can tell you whether your organization is dying.
1. You hear people say, “They should’ve known better.” It’s just placing all of the blame and responsibility on other people without having a sense of understanding and compassion.
2. The sound of apathy that says, “<strong>They’ve made their bed, now let them lie in it.” This usually has to do with internal matters of family or organizational personnel. When we start writing each other off, we start dying.
3. The sound of apathy that says, “They are just that way and they’ll never change.” Have you ever seen “they?” That’s someone we talk about constantly. It’s the “they” out there. It’s the “they” that won’t buy, or come, or aren’t interested. As long as we locate our personal responsibility and choices to some other fictitious group or person, we can’t change and we die.
4. The fourth sound of a dying organization is, “I have my own problems to worry about.” This is when the company, group, or movement has become all about me and not about the people I exist to serve. You have no right to exist if you don’t exist to serve and meet the needs of others.
5. The fifth sound of a dying organization is, “It’s my money and I’ll do what I please with it.” Again, if business and life is just about the money soon you won’t have any. Successful businesses are never about making money. It’s about meeting the needs of people, providing products, services and creative options for which people gladly pay.
6. The sixth sound of a dying organization is, “I’m too busy to be bothered,” which has the idea that we exist to be busy, to show up, to clock in and clock out, to do certain things. The emphasis here is on activity and not results.
7. The seventh sound of a dying, apathetic organization is, “Remember when…” When you start living in the past, when nostalgia has taken over where creativity, faith, and purposeful, compassionate action should be, you’re dying.