Stuck in a RUT

J. Keith Hughey


Volume XXII, Number 14 (Issue 1070) April 1, 2024

Stuck in a RUT

R.U.T. Routine Until Toxic (or worse, Terminal) 

With today being April Fool’s Day the temptation to try to prank you with a bogus message is almost too much to resist. After all, Monday and April First do not align that frequently. However, I am going to resist that temptation so I can address a serious issue – namely, the ruts we fall into. Lately, I have found myself thinking about ruts. That is in large part due to a series of staff-based meetings now underway at one of our clients. The chief goal of those meetings is to accomplish organizational transformation. 

Fortunately, in the case of this client their senior leadership has made it clear there are to be no sacred cows when it comes to proposing and embracing change. Still, ruts, as we all know, are the biproduct of repetition. It does not help that most of us are creatures of habit such that the very thought of change can be stressful while repetition to the point of creating muscle (reflexive) memory is the opposite. Compound that with the drive we see among organizations to optimize and codify processes such that we adhere to them long beyond the point where our explanation becomes, “because we’ve always done it that way,” and ruts form and deepen with time. It is our penchant for institutionalizing best practices – for the sake of efficiency – combined with our aversion to change and our stories of failed change that lead us to stick with the tried and true long after there are recognizable signs of friction and trouble. 

As sure as you and I breathe, there are changes taking place throughout our environment. Combine that with the passage of time and it is a recipe for problems. Einstein said we cannot solve our problems with the same thinking that created them. In short, even the best solutions lose their efficacy with the passage of time. Thus, more of the same is not the answer. 

Like it or not, change is inevitable. Rather than fight it or resist it, we must embrace it if we do not wish to be left behind or worse, become irrelevant. 

Soli Deo Gloria 

“Jesus said to her, ‘Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” John 20:17 

J. Keith Hughey

Mobile: (210)260-0955



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