Business as Usual: A notion of disappointment…


‘Business as Usual’ is a term typically applying to the core functions of what we do; the standard things that keep our organisation ticking. Sometimes parallel to that are the transformational initiatives and change drivers designed to result in radical improvements to process, function, and bottom-line. These are often deliberately kept separate to minimise the disruption of change on the status quo nature, being the familiar.

The line is so often clearly drawn between the two with discrete teams delivering the current and change teams delivering the future-state. It’s often a wonder and delight if the two ever merge.

So here’s my dilemma: why do we label our day-to-day in such a way that suggests that we perpetuate the status quo (Business as Usual)? Enterprises that seek to do toady what was done yesterday, even across core functions and tasks, are plodding, and ever continually, backward.

There should be no “usual” in our business. Each day should be the challenge to see how we improve, even incrementally; how we better the performance of yesterday in areas such as customer delivery; internal functional efficiency; streamlining meetings to be outcome driven and purposeful…whatever the case may be.

It’s about how we consistently challenge the norm to grow, evolve and ultimately survive.

Can we resist the terminology, or at least rephrase it? “Business as it could be” is far more appealing. It also suggests a mindset where challenge, change and progression are encouraged and favoured, leading to a culture of energy and purpose.

The status quo is not sustainable; it makes the impetus for change a part of the daily norm.