Purple Pajamas and the Power of Change
By Lester Olmstead-RoseSeptember 11, 2012
In consulting with organizations, we often talk about the need to feel the pain of the current situation in order to really welcome change. To overcome the fear of the unknown, the possibility of change has to look better than the familiar (albeit broken) status quo. The point is that we just get so used to seeing what we see now that we don’t recognize what we’re not seeing – or how much better the world could be.
My mother recently had cataract surgery and shared this story with me, which so perfectly captures our comfort with the status quo:
My eye is doing pretty well after my cataract surgery. On Thursday I ordered new glasses, so in a couple weeks I’ll see even more change, or at least I should.
Certainly colors are much more vivid. I have a pair of purple pajamas, and I thought they had faded from what I remembered. I got them out recently, and realized they are still bright purple! These are really much nicer than those old faded ones!
Having grown used to the old way of seeing, she was just going along with her dull pajamas.
Is your organization prepared to see the world with a fresh set of eyes?