We’ve always done it that way.
Saying “no” until we have a good reason to say yes.
A preoccupation with policies.
Overly-managed and under-led.
Most people have forgotten about the “why”?
Characterized by bureaucracy and control.
If these statements describe your organization’s default in decision making…you might be leading an institution not a movement. Every organization will naturally lean toward institutionalism unless you can hold onto the values that were present when you started.
It’s a natural lifecycle for every organization that gets past infancy and onto maturity. Vision leaks, inspiration wanes, and people feel like “it’s just a job”. At the start, everyone is focused on why the organization exists and the problem it exists to address. There is an optimism and a motivation that is larger than the start-up obstacles we face. People are captured by the ideal of a different future. And that ideal is worthy of sacrifice, scarcity, hard work and straightforward hardheadedness.
For all of the organization's that are skilled…or fortunate...to last beyond infancy, a danger awaits. It’s a subtle change that can even appear healthy. Maturity can easily transform into indifference. We start to risk less and protect more. We pat ourselves on the back and begin to coast for a moment. And very subtly our maturity becomes passionless.