The paradox of stability admidst change
In a thought-provoking blog post, John Hagel observes that stability is not getting its fair share of press, as well all run around talking about how rapidly things are changing in the age of the Internet. I think he makes a good point – in life, many things that are true and good require stability and time to nourish and focus. Becoming expert at anything, as Malcolm Gladwell famously found, requires 10,000 hours of stable practice time. Buiding trusting relationships requires repeated interactions. Mastering a profession requires reference to the core body of work that represents collective learning. And so on.
People, while being remarkably adaptable, also crave some certainty. That's one of the reasons that I always encourage leaders in a rapidly evolving situation to take some of the burden of uncertainty off people's backs by helping them create a set of operating assumptions that everyone can agree to. "Assume it won't need attention for a week" liberates people to take "it" off their do list and get on with something else.
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