Today is the fifth “snow day” in a row here in Atlanta. After snowing 6 inches on Monday, plus another 1/2 inch of freezing rain on top of it, temperatures below freezing have kept roads frozen most of the week, paralyzing the city. So, I’ve had some time this week to think about what it means to be stuck!
It turns out there are parallels between being physically stuck and people in organizations being stuck in the status quo. Consider:
It’s easy to be stuck at home. It’s warm, safe, and comfortable. Potential danger and discomfort await if we try to venture out. As long as there’s no reason to leave, you can stay there until the outside circumstances go away.
Even if you decide to venture out (or try something new), you may be unable to go anywhere. Like my husband, who tried to drive to the store on Tuesday, you may just end up spinning your wheels. Perhaps it’s your own inability to get past the obstacles, or it may be that the obstacles are truly insurmountable. Either way, you end up finding your way back home to wait it out a bit longer.
Once the path is clear enough for you to go, you still need to watch out for everyone else. They may not be able to navigate the obstacles effectively. When they spin out, they might take you with them! Or you might be the one who causes a collision. You might decide instead not venture out for fear of what others will do.
And, after you have stepped out, navigated the obstacles, and avoided collisions along the way, you might discover once you reach your destination that it is closed anyway! On Wednesday, when we had no dog food left, I drove over to Petco to discover that they had let their employees stay home that day. If you get where you want to go, and no one else is there, it doesn’t do a whole lot of good.
How are you stuck?