Spin doctors can remedy an ailment, but
rarely can they cure the disease.
—Sam Singer (1995)
For too long, for too many organizations, a good defense has been their primary offense. Success was a matter of fending off change. The typical mindset could be characterized like this: “Questions? Suggestions? Recommendations? Concerns? They sound like attacks to me. First, let's prove that we've been right all along. Then, let's discredit the people who made those scurrilous attacks. Who knows what impact this could have on our policies, our programs, our bottom line, and our ideology! Report to your battle stations!” Today, in a world of exploding diversity and exponential change, any organization with this attitude might wake up to find that it has successfully isolated itself from society, with little understanding of what its valuable role might be.
The status quo is formally defined as “the existing state of affairs.” Another definition could be “a ticket to obsolescence.” Let's face it—there is no more “business as usual.” There is no more status quo. We're headed one way or the other, either toward breakthroughs or breakdowns.
Jaap van Ginneken, who is affiliated with the Amsterdam School of Communications, puts it this way: “All too often, we approach opinions and attitudes as if they were a brick with an obvious permanence.” In