A Society Immune to Failure

Comments to the New Doctor of Management Class of 2007

We have become a society more and more comfortable with status quo because it's simply easier to maintain. More of us are a bit hesitant to go beyond where we are, to stretch further than we can comfortably reach.

I am concerned because this kind of apathy eventually guarantees the loss of the values that we consider so important to what I would characterize as the American virtues which challenge our ability to move beyond the present to thrive in the present while embracing an uncertain future.

We have become like the squirrels and deer in my neighborhood in west county who are so relaxed and keenly unaware, of the changing environment. They stroll across the street without looking left or right to confirm that the road is clear.

They continue to search for food in the same place even though their food source has significantly depleted. You observe them following the leader of the pack right into the traffic on highway 270 and 40. They are wandering around completely unaware of the reality of the changing environment for which they must thrive and remain comfortable with status quo.

As you enter the Webster doctorate in management program you will use your valuable time here to enhance your awareness of the business environment, that you will take advantage of this opportunity to transform yourself better prepared to impact your organization.

I end with a quote I came across just yesterday from a new book I am reading by Roger Martin titled, "The Oppsable Mind." The dean of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto and professor of strategic management attempts to answer the question, "Do great minds think alike?" His answer is that we should all strive to be integrative thinkers because integrative thinkers don't mind a messy problem. In fact, they welcome complexity because they believe that is where the best answers come from. I wish you well in your doctoral program and I thank you for listening.