The tenacity of the status quo

April 29, 2015

Come in. We are open.


The status quo is remarkably tenacious even in the face of overwhelming evidence that change is an imperative.

Whether it is a complex global system that needs to change – as is the case with global warming – or a moribund institution that has lost its way, the actors that protect the status quo are incredibly resourceful and resilient.

Some people have built their careers around the status quo.  The thought of that changing, even when retired, is an anathema.  They will fight to protect it to the bitter end which is a shame because their wisdom could be an asset to lead effective change.

Others profit from the status quo.  Their sense of entitlement is staggering and they become very adept at ensuring the tail continues to wag the dog.  They are smart enough to know that a well-executed veneer of novelty can go a long way to disguise business as usual.

The good news?  They do have their work cut out for them. It is getting harder to sustain the defense.

The status quo is a consummate hoarder and that is difficult to sustain in a world where information is increasingly open and shared.  The principles of accessibility and interdependence are trumping control and isolation in so many aspects of society.  When people are forced to engage outside of their silos, it is inherently disruptive.

Just don’t expect the status quo to go quietly.  It never has.

Photo credit: Pete, Creative Commons