The Latin phrase status quo literally means “the state in which.” It has been used as a common English term for about 200 years meaning “the existing state of affairs.”
As we near the end of one year and look ahead to a new one contemplating goals and hopes, one thing that seems clear to me is that the status quo is a direct enemy of creativity, innovation, doing new things, and stretching oneself to be more than in the past. Nobody ever created or innovated or excelled by simply doing the same old things previously done.
In the business world, many companies want to think of themselves as innovative, disruptive, creative and market-leading, yet in what ways do they enforce the status quo to the point of making thinking outside the box – much less acting outside of it – impossible? How many rules, policies, controls and other innovation-squelching practices are in place that make public claims of innovation or disruption laughable?
At the personal level, the status quo is similarly an enemy of change and making progress toward lifelong dreams. If all I do next year is what I did this year, then I can’t expect any results to be different or to accomplish anything new.
No matter what organization you are a part of, the principle applies. The status quo is your enemy if you want to do anything but always keep things exactly as they are right now. I don’t know about you, but that’s not enough for me or for anyone who wants to make a difference.
Someone has to take a risk. Someone has to go where others haven’t gone. Someone has to buck the trends, ignore the norms, and lead to places others didn’t know could exist or were too hesitant to try to reach. Chances are there is at least one way in which you and I each need to be that person. We’re not in control of the consequences of trying, and those consequences may turn or well or they may not. But I’d rather fail at trying something new than succeed at maintaining the status quo.
Leap year lesson #337 is The status quo has to go.