01 February 2011

More on Tribes

In last week's What I'm Reading post, I expressed some disappointment with Seth Godin's Tribes. In fact, I almost quit reading it about 50 pages before the end. But I'm glad I stuck with it for this one sentence that's been stuck in my head since I finished it at the end of last work week:
If your organization requires success before commitment, it will never have either.

Godin, pg. 132
In associations we talk a lot about how we need to embrace failure, fail quickly to get to success more quickly, share our failures as well as our successes and learn from them, yackity smackity. But for the most part, that doesn't happen. Part of it, as I've noted here before, is that we fear criticism.

But I think Godin's point is also very relevant for the association community. We don't have R&D budgets. We don't, for the most part, have Google's 20% time rule (and think about that for a minute - that's one day a week - EVERY week - devoted to innovation).

We all know the song & dance about too many hats, too many demands, too little time. And because of that, there's no space for something not to be a hit. And because of that, we're stuck in the incremental rut.

We have to, as a community, get the hell off the hamster wheel of busier = better and give ourselves some time and space (because money's not the only resource) for mental exploration.

How do we break out? What could you stop doing, personally or organizationally, today, THIS MINUTE, and nobody's life would be the worse for it?


Smeske said...

Think of all the great sports teams where an athlete or coach commits everything to the cause...BEFORE knowing the outcome of the game. Fear of criticism, fear of failure and even fear of succeeding keeps us from wandering away from the smoothly paved, well worn path of life. Thank you Elizabeth for sharing this post.

Frank Fortin said...

Seth is good for at least one life-altering quote per book.
One of my favorites is from his book "The Dip." It went something like, "How dare you settle for less when the world has made it so easy for you to be remarkable?”