Saturday, March 17, 2007

'That's Just the Way It Is' - WRONG!

My latest thinking about another book has entered my head.

I am interested why I often hear the expression ‘That's just the way it is’

I don’t like that expression.

By implication it means we accept that nothing can be done to change things that are not acceptable and if we say those words we actually condone poor standards.

It seems to me many times people give up because 'the system' has beaten them. It just seems too hard to challenge unacceptable practice and so we take the line of least resistance by shrugging our shoulders and muttering those dreadful words 'Well I guess I just have to accept that's just the way it is’ ...... or variations of that.

I say 'NO!! - we don't have to accept that'

We should challenge what we judge to be poor standards. I believe the best way to raise standards is to apply our own standards rather than passively accept standards that we personally believe are not good enough.

Anyway .. That's what is in my head and I hope to write something soon.

I would love your comments on this one.


Gabriel Salcido said...

That's why sometimes newcomers beat well-established companies:
Changing the status quo is sooo difficult in "legacy" companies if leaders don't allow it. And even if managers favor change, well-entrenched front line employees could hamper and sabotage improvement efforts by defending "the way it is."
To make things worse, some organizations change just for change's sake, without ever asking customers and stakeholders what they really want... particularly those leaders who fall in love with a hammer (a tool, a system, a paradigm) when the situation actually calls for a screwdriver.

The only way that REALLY is, is the customers' way.

Dmitry Linkov said...

Trevor, I agree with you. This phrase is so passive, and will never be used by really proactive people. And it's also the "problem approach" not the "solution".
It the same like "yeah I'm stupid, that's the way it is" but it should be "yeah I'm lack of knowledge, but I'm working really hard to solve this problem and you will be able to see the results in next 2 weeks...".

Trevor Gay said...

Dmitry – thank you - it is interesting how some see the same situation as an opportunity or a problem. I think this is tied up with attitude to life in general. In my experience the people who see ‘challenges’ as opportunities tend to be optimists. Those who see challenges as ‘obstacles’ tend to be pessimistic types. That is a generalisation but it feels like that to me

Gabriel – I love the hammer/screwdriver analogy thanks for that and the customer’s needs are always the first priority. I agree with you about leaders. I believe the leaders have a responsibility to lead by example and if the leader buries their head in the sand and refuses to accept change then how can we expect front liners to be motivated to change. Having said that I also believe front liners can achieve change even if the leader is not motivated. I love this quote from Margaret Mead the Anthropologist said ‘“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”