How to Break Free From the Status Quo

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Too often people are caught in the trap of the status quo. They blame lack of resources, insufficient time, or more significantly they possess an internal fear of change. We have all been there. When was the last time you heard, ”if only I had more…” It is often referred to as Set-Up-For-Failure syndrome. Employing simple leadership techniques to solve tough problems will help you avoid common traps by focusing on the end result.

Value openness, honesty, and courage

Build a working culture where teams can push the status quo without fear of failure. All great leaders want teams that are creative. However, change is not simple and causes anxiety and fear in people. Our bias towards maintaining the current state often wins out, even when better alternatives exist. We need people to question approach, experiment, and learn to find the best alternatives.

Focus on the present and the future, not the past

People are often inclined to perpetuate the mistakes of the past rather than exploit potential opportunities. Leaders need to maintain a clear focus on the desired outcome. Adopt a management accountant view and make decisions based upon future value. In every project, there will be sunk costs in past investments. Those cannot influence the present or future as long as you learn and adapt to the changing environment.

Avoid overconfidence

Overconfidence occurs in every organization. Teams regularly have an embellished belief in their ability to understand the situation and focus on a single solution. Remove the factors that cause overconfidence by continuously investigating better alternatives. Teams should research and investigate options throughout project delivery.  Leaders should encourage the development of alternatives and avoid decisions based on individual pieces of information.

In Summary

Avoiding the pitfalls of the status quo is difficult. Decision making is deceptive. It can seem straightforward but many organizations fail to focus on basic principles. Leaders need to employ the right technique at the right time to deliver true value.