Why you should Tell Your Story like a Mime ArtistPosted: June 22, 2013
John Stuart Mill said that one could cause evil to others not only by their actions but by inaction. In either case, he concluded that person is justly accountable for any resulting injuries. Mill also thought that actions were right to the extent they promoted happiness and wrong if they produced the reverse of happiness.
Organizations can stagnate, lose momentum or even fail completely due to long-term inaction. Why this happens can sometimes be difficult to understand. But here are some examples of how inaction can enter as an unwanted visitor.
- An authoritarian leader may not have the skills to make key decisions independently. But- even more importantly- the leader solicits little or no input from others. Inaction can be the result.
- Leadership gets out of touch with the pulse of the organization. Consequently, problems and opportunities remain uncovered.
- A short-term focus in decision-making blinds long-term needs.
- Performance bars are not set or monitored. A lack of accountability results.
- A lack of trust can result in individual needs taking precedence over organizational needs. This can happen, for example, when an employee perceives that a particular action would jeopardize their own individual position. In this case, inaction is perceived as the safer route.
- Using a penny-wise and pound-foolish approach emphasizes short-term cost rather than investment. Future costs typically rise as a consequence.
- Stakeholders are not mission driven. Their own economic needs are considered more important.
- Resources are not fully recognized and put to optimal use.
- It simply becomes too late to act.
Now back to the mime artist. Maybe you remember the famous one at the left. Actions do speak louder than words. And more can be learned by listening rather than talking. Is your small nonprofit being suppressed by inaction? Are its core values being manifested through action?
Remember the mime artist and start telling your story through consistent action. Just leave the mask at home.