If It Ain’t Broke…

J. Keith Hughey


Volume XXI, Number 9 (Issue 1013) February 27, 2023

If It Ain’t Broke…

… “don’t fix it.” At least that is what the age-old maxim tells us. But is it wise to operate that way? I would suggest the more appropriate ending should be “count your blessings – and get ready– ‘cause change is coming!” Sooner rather than later these days. Which means it won’t be much longer before things start to vibrate, then squeak, rattle, and overheat. In short, once the noise begins, it isn’t long before the wheels begin to wobble and then come off.

Honestly, I hesitate to use that language this close on the heels of the East Palestine, Ohio train disaster. But since little things left unattended can and often do lead to bad outcomes, it seems an appropriate reference. Had the problem with the Norfolk Southern train 32N’s twenty-third car’s wheel bearing been identified earlier, might the derailment have been prevented? The answer to that has yet to be determined. Yet logic and what we are hearing at this stage of the investigation suggests so. Time will tell. This much does appear certain: the ultimate cause will be determined, and fault will be assigned. Should it point to inadequate procedures affecting rail safety, there will be changes to some of the rules under which railroads must operate. Should (when) that happens, one can bet the railroads will not like them. After all, no one relishes having rules imposed upon them by another party.

But such change is inevitable as are others. Change happens! Some changes will be thought of as good, some will not seem good at the time. Interestingly, much of one’s sense about the merits of a particular change have much to do with one’s place in the change hierarchy. When it is your idea, it is easy to be all in. When the change is not your idea, but you at least feel you had a voice and maybe a vote in its final form and rollout, then one can usually get behind it. However, when change is imposed upon us by a third party and one feels they have no say in the matter – then embracing the change can be hard to digest.

One thing you can do to help the medicine go down for others is to provide the “why?” That way, assuming the rationale behind the change makes sense, then working through the change can be more palatable. Or at least it might eliminate some of the passive-aggressive behavior meant to undermine the change.

So, let me ask: because change happens, is it better to be get ahead of it (i.e., be proactive) or is it to act as if change (progress) isn’t needed so that in the end you find yourself reacting?

Remember, without change progress does not happen. Practically speaking, isn’t it is better and more personally satisfying to be the agent for change than it is to be on the receiving end of someone else’s “brilliant” idea? To borrow a familiar phrase, be the change.

Soli Deo Gloria

“Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.” 1 Corinthians 15:51-52

J. Keith Hughey

Mobile: (210)260-0955
E-mail: keith@jkeithhughey.com
Web site: www.jkeithhughey.com

Transforming Potential into Unmatched Performance
Copyright 2023 by J. Keith Hughey. All rights reserved. Permission is hereby granted for reproduction and redistribution of this essay as provided under the copyright laws of the United States of America. The entire early library of Monday Morning Musings issues may be found at www.jkeithhughey.com. Your comments are welcome and encouraged.

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