I firmly believe that what happens in Vegas should stay in Vegas — which is why I will NOT be blogging about what happened at Pure Nightclub after Tuesday night’s poker tournament at TDWI Las Vegas. However I thought I’d share a point or two from my Monday keynote.

In my presentation on building your enterprise data strategy I listed organizational and cultural dysfunctions that could sabotage a data strategy. One of these is the so-called “Culture of No.” I explained that “no” is way easier than “yes.” Anyone can come up with a good reason not to do something. After all, they might be held accountable if they say yes. No is the safe answer, the acceptable answer, and fewer people second-guess it. (Not coincidentally I also talked about Passive-Aggressive Resistance.)

Some companies consistently err on the side of what I call “organizational homeostasis.” I came up with the term after watching an infomercial where a diet doctor was discussing how the mechanisms that control appetite and burn energy are intricately balanced. “Our bodies like to remain at whatever weight they’re used to,” said the diet doctor. My personal experience affirms both the doctor’s claim — don’t get me started — and the cultural tendency of companies to stay where they are. Chase causes discomfort, be it in the form of severe hunger pangs or new ways of working.

My favorite clients not only embrace change, they kiss it on the lips. They use their change readiness to invite improvements or to open up new opportunities. The word “disruptive” is tossed around not like a hot potato, but rather like a fabulous pair of new glasses that everyone wants to try on. And it turns out they look good on everyone.

Someone in my keynote asked me for a prediction. My prediction is that as business picks up and executives look for new ways to improve corporate performance, they’ll welcome change. This means people will be more likely to experiment with new products and services, revisit entrenched business processes, and extend offers to employees and partners they wouldn’t have considered during the bad old days of homeostasis.

My company is about to go through a disruptive-yet-exciting change. It’s also creative, forward-thinking, timely, and strategic. It will be good for our employees, our partners, and our clients. It will let us create new products and improve existing ones. It will help us hire more people and leverage the awesome team we currently have. Needless to say, I’m excited about it.

Can you apply this description to an idea at your company? Can you get excited about it? Good. Now go make it happen! And if it happens in Vegas, you don’t have to tell.

Read the Press Release announcing Baseline Consulting’s acquisition by DataFlux here.


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