It's what happened next that is interesting. The four minute barrier had stood for decades. As soon as Banister broke it, everyone else started beating his times, and they continue to do so. It was as though the mental barrier was broken and to do that it meant breaking through a significant amount of "perceived wisdom".
So I wonder what "perceived wisdom" we have that is holding up the rapid spread of ideas and good practice across our organisations? What barriers do we have to implementation? One that bother me is the constant lowering of expectations and improvement targets on the basis they could never be reached. As these are then accumulated across the organisation they then accumulate their weaknesses.
Some mental spring cleaning perhaps? Questions to provoke:
- What significant barrier to improvement needs to be broken?
- What is the pereceived wisdom and how can it be reframed and challenged?
- If the barrier is broken, what might be the size of the prize?
Creative Commons 2008 Sarah Fraser Attribution-Non-Commercial-Non-Derivative