By MICHAEL G. MANES
Manes and Associates
As New Year 2021 follows 2020 (a year like no other), don’t continue to do what you always have done and expect a different result. Remember that is the definition of insanity. 2020 was unbelievable, but we survived by holding on to our sanity.
This past year has been crazy enough without us contributing to our problems. Instead, consider the future as it may and/or will be for you and your family, your employees and/or co-workers, your clients, your competitors, the new coronavirus world, a virtual and global marketplace and China (our most dangerous competition in the future), our country as it makes a left turn into tomorrow, the younger non-verbal generations that prefer texting to talking, and the rest of our demographics and psychographics as they are and will be.
Define your new reality via a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis. Also focus on your organization’s purpose, values, objectives, resources, possibilities, marketplace, limitations, competitors, and the yet to be discovered risks of tomorrow.
On Jan. 1, 2020, the U.S. was coming off a great year, and hope existed that 2020 would be better than the past. We were wrong. If someone had explained that day, the reality ahead of us in 2020, none of us would have believed them. We’ve now lived through that new world and aren’t sure of what happened to us. Truth can be stranger than fiction.
We were caught with a disease we had never seen and a world unable to cope. Our ignorance of the disease and our arrogance surrounding our ability to cope were our downfall. Add to that, COVID-19 revealed huge cracks in our culture. We were not willing or able to believe the same truths or play by the same rules.
Tomorrow – the ignorance of arrogance and the arrogance of ignorance is the starting point.
Ignorance – the state or fact of being ignorant; lack of knowledge, learning, information, etc. (dictionary.com)
Arrogance – offensive display of superiority or self-importance; overbearing pride.
Culture – “… that distinctive constellation of beliefs, values, work styles and relationships that distinguish one organization from another.” (Diagnosing Organizational Culture – Roger Harrison and Herb Stokes – Pfeiffer and Company, 1992)
“What you will tolerate is what you will get, and that becomes your culture.” (Harvey Goldberg, presentation, June 24, 2018)
“Your current processes are perfectly designed to get the results they are already getting.” (David Balestracci – Quality Digest Management)
“Culture is the house rules (in a marketplace without shared values).” (MGM)
To understand the good (best) and bad (worst) of people and our cultures, remember the following as the extremes of each of us as people and the collective us as communities:
– The Cosby Show, Dr. Cliff Huxtable the father and healer.
– Our health care professionals, working to save us as they endangered themselves.
– Other working folks who put themselves at risk to provide products and services so, we as consumers, could be at less risk. Some needed to work, some didn’t. Know also that our personality types and risk taking temperaments shape us into who we are. Crazy to you might just be an acceptable common sense risk to me.
– Bill Cosby – The convicted rapist. Jeffrey Epstein and the sickos he supplied.
– The looters, criminals, con artists, and others doing bad while we try to do good.
– The Great Northwest, the liberal, peaceful and non-violent Portland and Seattle being burned by their citizens in protest of violence. Ponder that reality for a second or two.
– The many good cops, citizens, volunteers, and others protecting us.
– The few bad cops hurting the good by their evil acts and beliefs.
– Since Nashville exploded in the shadow of last year, remember, big bad can be inflicted by little sick people.
– People with options in life should be more understanding and supportive of those without. Health problems above the shoulders often hurt more than the patient.
As we try to make sense of the aforementioned craziness, remember most of the people doing what they were doing were just trying to make it back to sanity or sane – normal, as we see it. Our challenge is that we don’t have the same definition of sane, life, right, wrong, good, and evil. As Paul Harvey often said, “We are not one world.”
For perspective, think how bad it would be, if we were all the same. Our thumb is our most valuable digit since it makes our other fingers more functional by creating their opposition.
Now and for tomorrow: Dream, think, focus, act. And when you fall down, remember your momma’s advice: “Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again!” Celebrate yourself as a survivor, never a victim. In terms of our possibilities in our future, remember, we’ve already walked on the moon. We will survive our differences, even if it is messy to do so. God, bless America! Try to love someone you might not like.
MICHAEL G. MANES is the owner of Manes and Associates, a New Iberia based consulting business.