Thursday, April 25, 2019

We Have Always Done It That Way

"We Have Always Done It That Way" are seven words that will kill any organization. They are words that we use to protect ourselves from change and new ideas. People who say these words aren't mean or bad people. Their motives are often times come from a pure place. They say them because they feel that they are the guards and preservers of past practices and traditions.

Any organization that huddles around these seven words will not thrive and will stumble to their end. 

And eventually, lose what they were trying to preserve. While others are taking the often painful journey of change, risking failure by trying new ideas so that their organization will be there for the next generation.

I have very little faith that I could convince people to abandon these seven words. I have seen this transformation in people who hated a change and later appreciated it. 

What might it mean for us to instead utilize a better phrase, "I am willing to try"? Instead of we have always done it that way. And when we say this we are also saying that we are "willing to fail." And most new ideas in some way do fail. It is always the one idea that succeeds that everyone talks about... but what we don't realize is that a trail of failures follows the one success. 

These aren't just words for our churches. They are words for our workplaces. Words for our families (the family has always gone to Grandma's house for Thanksgiving). We always do such and such dinner during this time of year... and on and on it goes.