I never advocate quitting to make a difference. But sometimes drastic action is needed to prompt an organization resistant to change to face the need to change. My friend Jeff Hurt opens all of his speeches and educational sessions with an invitation to the audience. He invites them to vote with their feet, or walk out, if his presentation isn’t holding their interest. Jeff can do this because he’s good at what he does, he’s innovative and aware; he knows most people will stay and listen. But Jeff’s not scared of learning from mistakes, from criticism or seeing people walk away, in part because he loves to learn and get better at what he does.
Voting With Your Feet
I recently took Jeff’s advice and decided to vote with my feet, to quit. I’d been a member of an organization for over twenty years. A dysfunctional organization that had resisted updating their facilities for most of the twenty years I’d been a member. I actively worked for organizational change within the group, and actively worked to help create plans to update the organization’s facilities. I finally left the group last winter and guess what happened? Everything changed!
I don’t want to overstate my own influence as part of this organization, but I do like to think that perhaps my ‘quitting’ or ‘voting with my feet’ was the catalyst they needed to face their organizational inertia and do something about it. When I left, they lost one of their most loyal and longest-standing followers and I believe it had an impact.
Team Building For Change
- Don’t wait until your team is dysfunctional to work on change initiatives, or even maintenance initiatives to improve your group communication.
- Your ability to problem solve, innovate and face the future requires action. The future will come whether you plan for it or not.
- A good team building program can be a strong catalyst for growth within your organization.
I hope you’ll embrace the possibilities!