Do we clutter our own pathway to change? I often wonder ho much we hold ourselves back from progress by working within the confines of what we have known up till now. A couple of months ago I was going through some old office files and a page I had ripped out of a book back in the 90’s fell out. Yes, the 90’s. Just a couple of weeks later I was meeting a colleague who mentioned the book and the author… since then I keep thinking about it. The book is the Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. I can’t say I particularly loved the book but I did love this excerpt- so much I still the yellowing page 20 years later.
“Look,” said Roark. “The famous flutings on the famous columns – what are they there for? To hide the joins in wood – when columns were made of wood, only these aren’t, they’re marble. The triglyphs, what are they? Wood. Wooden beams, the way they had to be laid when people began to build wooden shacks. Your Greeks took marble and they made copies of their wooden structures out of it, because others had done it that way. Then your masters of the Renaissance came along and made copies in plaster of copies in marble of copies in wood. Now here we are, making copies in steel and concrete of copies in plaster of copies in marble of copies in wood. Why?”
Why? How can we do it differently? How much are our personal views confining the possibility for change? Last night I was talking with a friend who is considering a job 2000 miles from her home, the concern is how can she be 100% in and bring change to the organization in an effective way if she is not there every day. I asked them why they felt that the only way to do this was by physically being there… I get the view, I have lived most of my life thinking being present means also being physically present. But now I am working with younger people every day and learning to use virtual meetings and IMing – I can even share my screen now at moment’s notice to anyone around the world. And that’s just work…
Working mothers – what about the way we parent – so much of what our parents did is no longer applicable to the way we live today, change is everywhere. We have two parents working, we have cell phones, tablets. We have crazy amounts of scheduled activities. Our kids know how to access the world quicker than we do – we have a TV in the house that only my 10 year old knows how to work. Oh and the school work – they even learn math differently. Given all this change why do we continue our effort to create the world in which we grew up in?
Read the quote – what comes to your mind first?