The status quo is best described as a mindset that says, “Something must work because it is still around, and because it is still around, it must mean it is still working.” A key leadership discipline in today’s world is to constantly challenge the status quo in the workplace. Create a culture where everyone knows “sacred cows” cannot hide. If you don’t, you could become one of the casualties that we are seeing more and more of each day.
Think about it. Once great firms like Chrysler, AIG, Polaroid, and A&P now exist as mere shadows of their former selves while others including Bethlehem Steel, Sharper Image, Mervyns, Wickes Furniture and Linens ‘n Things have disappeared altogether, in large part because they could not change. The common denominator of all of these sad endings is a literal death grip on the status quo. However, this is not just a large company phenomenon. Small and mid-size companies are just as capable of failing for the same reasons.