I have a dog that is a Border Collie and Labrador mix. The official name of the breed is Borador. At two years old and 45 pounds, Callie is extremely quick and agile. She loves running at full speed to catch the Frisbee when I throw it as far as I can. She can stop and turn on a dime. When I chase her in our nightly basement ritual, she darts from one place to another, changing directions in an instant whenever I suddenly change course.
That is quite different than the St. Bernards I owned in high school. At about 250 pounds and big enough for a small child to ride, they had great power and the ability to intimidate strangers as they would greet cars that pulled in the driveway by looking in the car window with all four feet still on the ground. But when it came to running, they didn’t have Callie’s quickness and agility.
Each breed has its beauties and strengths, but if quickness is called for, I’ll take the smaller, more nimble and agile Callie.
Now think of the business, organization, church, neighborhood, agency, etc. that you spend a lot of time with. There is a good chance that change is an everyday reality in that world. Or at least the need for change may be real, whether or not the culture and leadership of the organization actually allows it to happen at a necessary and admirable pace. Which breed describes your organization? Are you a nimble, fast-reacting Borador or are you a lumbering St. Bernard in danger of being left behind by a quicker, more agile breed?
I’ve worked in small companies and I’ve worked in large ones. Each has it’s own beauties and strengths. In today’s business environment, though, agility is called for to adapt to change. Those content to do things the way they have always been done, refusing or delaying too long to acknowledge and embrace business and cultural trends are doomed to lose the race. Isn’t it odd that in the attempt to hold on to the past some sacrifice their future?
Leap year #157 is There is no speed limit on change. So you’d better get moving.