Observe First, Change Later


If there’s one theme I’ve seen in the four+ months since the flood, it’s that most people seem hellbent on taking charge and making changes.

In a very few situations, that might be a good approach.

Here’s the thing: Most people don’t want to spend time observing before making changes. I say most people, and I humbly, ashamedly admit that I’m part of that group.

Here’s what’s missing in that approach:

  • There may be things that are working with the current methods. They may even be working well.
  • The change-everything-first approach tends to come with a dialectic. It’s not enough to implement a new approach – the old approach must be discredited.
  • Rather than continuity and growth, the change-everything approach creates an endless loop of radical change followed by re-adjustment. It may end up being two steps forward and three steps back.

Back in the day, I worked for a few organizations that went through a quality management process. Regardless of the name, the core concept of quality management seems to be about observing the process and then making small, sustainable changes to improve the process when necessary.

On a side note, I’m going to take some time off from blogging.

4 Responses to “Observe First, Change Later”

  1. Lenny Says:

    Ah, blogging is such a thankless task. You will be missed during your time off…

  2. Clint (CMS) Says:

    True about blogging, and I would add the habit of bringing restraint and perspective to friable situations. Thanks for your thoughtful consideration and practicing what you preach. See ya whenever.

  3. random reader from the ethos Says:

    That’s a shame.
    I’ve been following the contemplative insights into rigging / highline construction that you’ve graciously offered up every now and then, with great interest. Your knowledge has helped influence the design and safety concerns of a highline I built that has moved 30K lbs of material in a location without road access.

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