Over the years I have heard this phrase more often then I care to mention.  I hated it when I was 23 and I hate it at my current vintage age.  This term makes as little sense as the grammar it contains – and you know how bad I am at grammar.

The truth is our service systems have long been broken . . . and to some extent always will be broken.  There is no end to improvement and accepting the current state as stable is, well, both ignorant and obstinate.  Take the cover off your eyes, man.  Your service systems lack anything close to what a customer would call perfect.  And be thankful they are as such because otherwise life would be b-o-r-i-n-g.

New breakthroughs and new thinking will have infinite life for those that don’t accept the status quo.  That feeling inside that lets you know the blood is pumping through your veins is excitement and our dissatisfaction propels the world forward.

The current state of business that succumbs to targets, incentives, and assumptions leads us to the “ain’t broke don’t fix it” crowd.  A pathetic lot that reminds me of the McCarthy and witch hunt eras of yesteryear.  “Did I hear you say no targets?”  Burn them at the stake or accuse them of heresy or even communism that should keep them cowering.  Copernicus hid his revelation that the earth was not the center of the universe until his death in fear of being mocked or killed.

Do we still live in that era?

Universal “truths” that aren’t are hard to swallow and so we wallow in the stagnation of old theories.  Like a pig to mud.  Claiming brilliance, instead of admitting we wreak the odor of decay.  New thinking is only hazardous to careers, not profit.  Those that venture outside to experiment with method most often are labeled failures until they start their own companies and defeat last generation’s thinkers.

Toyota in manufacturing, Apple in technology while the rest fight to protect their dying markets, thinking and profits.  An isolationist attitude in a global market.

God bless the dissatisfied.

Tripp Babbitt is a speaker, blogger and consultant to service industry (private and public).  His organization helps executives find a better way to make the work work.  Read his articles at Quality Digest and his column for CustomermanagementIQ.com  Download free from www.newsystemsthinking.com “Understanding Your Organization as a System” and gain knowledge of systems thinking or contact us about our intervention services at [email protected].  Reach him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TriBabbittor LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/trippbabbitt.