Oozing Failure of Change

Monday, April 13th, 2009

Chico Harlan (Washington Post, 4/13/09) wrote that the Washington National’s loss yesterday to Atlanta was similar to “the way a balloon loses helium – so gradually that you barely noticed how it happened.” In many games you can point to the big moment (or moments) “that explains everything.”

Organizational change can be a lot like oozing helium (without the laughs). While its always easy identify the major mistakes or boneheaded decisions that drove a change into the ground, it is far harder to see failure as energy oozes out of a new initiative.

Harlan suggests you need a heavy zoom lens to see what went wrong in some games, since those many moments can be small and easily missed. I think I’ll start carrying a virtual zoom lens with me to my clients.