Ok, but why?

There’s always a reason for how things are, and it almost always falls into one of these categories:

1. It’s a good reason, and you need to understand it before you go messing things up.

I remember hearing something once about not tearing down fences until you know where all the cows are at. I wish I had a more clever example, but this one gets the job done just fine.

2. Someone is benefitting from the way things are, and usually at the expense of everyone else.

I’ve worked more than one job at which I thought “no one would run a business this way on purpose, they must want me to fix it”, only to find that things were that way because someone, usually someone at the top, liked it that way. Maybe the books are a bit fuzzy so no one notices someone skimming the bottom line. Maybe employees are systematically criticized so they won’t notice they deserve better, and it’s a distraction from where blamed truly lies. Those are the tactics of a bully. It’s insidious and far-reaching. Smoke it out and shine the light on it.

3. We’ve just always done it this way.

I’ll refer you back to #1, and if that doesn’t apply, then fix it! That’s the dumbest reason to do anything. Maybe it worked back then, but it’s just smart to re-evaluate from time to time. Changing your mind because you’ve got more information doesn’t make you wishy-washy. It makes you wise. Always try to be wise.

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