There’s a lot of sameness in our products and our purchases.

For manufacturing purposes, we want things to look and be the same.

But we… you and me? We’re not the same. Every single person on the face of this planet is different. And yet, we try to pretend that everyone is the same. Like a pack of gum (listen to the podcast to understand this reference 😛).

We try to put practices and processes into our organizations and predict what human behavior will be like. And we expect it to continue to be the same. 

Our brains crave predictability. Our organizations are structured for predictability. And the older we get, the more we crave that social conservation—the desire for things to be more of the same; to follow certain patterns and paths and traditions.

During the postwar era when Baby Boomers were being born, society was trying to establish organizations, and we borrowed management principles from the military. In the military, every soldier is intended to follow the same rules—do the same things over and over again.

Predictability. Process. Hierarchy. Tradition. And we took these models and we put them into our work forces and membership organizations.

We decided that everything needed to be very organized and predictable. Everything is going to be the same. And by doing the same thing over and over again, we’re going to get the same results over and over again. And people are going to respond the same way over and over again. 

But FULL STOP. All of a sudden, we are faced with rapid change in our society. In this era of change, nothing has stayed (or will stay) the same. Everything about the way we live, work, and do business is changing. But we still crave that predictability. We still expect people to react the same way, make the same decisions, go about life interacting and communicating with our organizations the same way.  We expect engagement and belonging to be the same. 

There’s a lot of disruption happening in our organizations, families, culture, and society. This all changes human behavior, and we all need to intimately understand that nothing is staying the same anymore. Stop resisting change and assuring yourself that “this too shall pass” … because it’s not going to!

Here’s the bottom line: If you want your organization to sustain and survive, you’re going to have to first accept the fact that nothing right now is the same. Everything has been disrupted and will continue to be disrupted.

Do the research. Create think tanks and focus groups. Keep up with the trends. Read articles.

Embrace change, or be left behind.