The First Day of School

Greetings.  It's the end of August and most school systems across the U.S. and the rest of the world have already begun their new year.  It's a time of great hope and anticipation as students of all ages meet new teachers, take on new subjects, make new friends and find their clear voices in a wide range of new and exciting "extracurricular" activities.  And, hopefully, expand their horizons as learners, thinkers, creators, innovators, collaborators and individuals in an annual ritual filled with unlimited possibilities.

All based on the simple notion that "change" is a good thing.  Changing teachers, changing subjects, changing classmates, changing lockers, changing approaches to learning and sometimes even changing schools.  All intended, in an ideal world, to unlock the real genius in every student.

And then when our days in school end, we enter a world that lacks in this regular commitment to change.  This annual ritual of thoughtfully stirring the pot.  That instead views change as a bad thing or a necessary evil.  The former embodied by the plodding and incremental nature of change that occurs in most companies–companies committed to maintaining business as usual for as long as possible. And the latter embodied by companies that try to improve their fortunes through a series of abrupt and often radical changes–determined to shake things up in the hope that a sudden and severe burst of "different" will produce a way different and better result.  Different strategy.  Different leaders.  A different organization with different rules and incentives. 

With neither approach appreciating the power of regular and thoughtful change that mirrors the magic of the first day of school.

So this year when you see students and busses on their way to school, why not try to imagine what it would be like to begin a new and more compelling year at your company or organization.  To engage your employees with just the right amount of exciting and nurturing change.  To create your very own annual ritual of energizing your workplace and all of its promise.

School bus

We win in business and in life when we make change the natural order of things.  And when we realize that, at our very best, we will always be students filled with possibilities.

Cheers!