The Hidden Factor Of Decline We So Often Ignore

The Biggest Obstacle

The biggest obstacle to growth is not the dearth of ideas but sometimes the dearth of enthusiasm. Or better we may call it the predominance of complacency. This is the state of vision and mind where we feel that there is nothing more to be done. Everything seems right and we need to only do what we are already doing. In this utopia we feel that  there is no need to change and absolutely no requirements for any actions other than the routine activities. This is the assumed blissful situation where a deliberate and conscious decision has already been taken to be change neutral and be Status Quoist. 

Why We Become Complacent

The big question is why such notions of complacency creeps into our mindset and slowly transforms itself into conscious visible policy decisions. The general reasons may be many and sometimes the reasons can be context specific also. What I have observed over the years is that few things do contribute to our complacency in an organizational set up. This may be true for the individual situation also. I have listed a few of them below for your ready references. 

The Lack Of Immediate Crisis 

When we do not have any immediate big problems staring at us we normally tend to be complacent. We feel there is no threat to our organizational & business existence. This situation is myopic because threats always remain. The only thing is that we are not able to either visualise it or comprehend it immediately. Most of the organizations miss the technological threat to their existence and feel that traditional threats are only big problems. The names like Kodak and Blackberry are examples of how complacency can ruin the existence itself. 

The Tendency To Play It Down 

As humans we generally exaggerate our problems if it suits the context or play it down totally if it suits us even more. The denial of the problem is our greatest problem sometimes. When we live in denial we mostly live in a state of bliss.  

This psychology also plays with the senior leadership. No senior leadership feels happy to own and acknowledge the enemy at the gate. If they accept it then some heads may roll and the status quo may well be disturbed. Generally the visionless assumes that the problems may itself go away or waits for someone else to take up the cudgel. 

You May Be Measuring It The Wrong Way

The crux of success depends upon how well researched and real your Key Performance Indicators ( KPIs) are related to your organizational and business. If you have the wrong KPIs in your hand or if it is outdated or even unreal then you have wrong results in your hand. 

With these KPIs you may well feel that you are on the Highway of success and naturally the complacency sets in. But the moment the crisis appears we may feel like we have been robbed on the highway in full daylight. 

There is No Competition Scenario

This state of affairs has led many to sink to the depths. This is pure sacrilege to think that there is no competition in your area of activities. Even if the organization has a total edge over the market share it must know that technology itself is the competition. If the organization is complacent then it is sowing its own seeds of destruction.

Sometimes the competition comes in the form of new business ideas that are slowly creeping into the users and the customers. Remember how blackberry lost out due to its obsession with keyboards and totally neglecting the changing trends of users towards the touch screens. 

The Critics Are The Alarm Bells 

Nobody likes the critics for they point out flaws without being asked to do so. We all feel that the critics do not understand the full picture and their criticisms are unwarranted. Sometimes it may be right also but still we are missing the bigger picture. 

The job of the critics is to analyse us from the angles we generally never analyse ourselves. Hence we feel uncomfortable and view those criticisms as unreal. But we are all making a cardinal mistake here. We must treat the critics like our free advisors who are doing the job which our strategic think tank should have done. The best way to handle the critics is to analyse their opinions as a feedback mechanism on the organization or the self. Take what is real and ignore what is fictitious. This is the way we may prevent ourselves from getting trapped by complacency. 

The solutions on how to prevent getting complacent also lies in the reason itself. Most of the time if we identify the causes and sources of our problems then the solutions become easy.