Lunch at the Terminal


Well, the day has finally come when what we thought was impossible is now not only possible it’s reality. It seems that things which challenge the concept of normalcy sooner or later prove that normalcy is never defined instead it’s only interpreted.

Interpretation is the translation of those whom we collaborate. Today how and who we collaborate with will prove to be instrumental in our success. We can no longer seek only those who think like us in hopes for some improvement. We must instead seek to collaborate with those who can help define our reinvention keeping us constantly relevant. Collaborating in the 21st century cannot strictly be about looking for what absolutes we can discover from commonalities. Today’s collaborations must also include seeking and defining the unknown.

“When you stop looking for absolutes is when you discover the excitement of the unknown.”

Recently at an airport terminal’s restaurant, I found myself within ears distance of a conversation between some executives from the retail food industry. As these executives talked, you could hear both passion and complacency. One could relate the conversation to many industry leaders. A conversation regarding the threaten tenure of what is.

A passionate member of the group was describing a need for change based on the facts of the marketplace, facts about the changes to their ex-customers desires. Then there was the insecure executive who subconscious you could hear the pleading for things to remain as they are while his conscious voice articulated what could only be described as wishful thinking. The other members at the lunch meeting would have no conviction of their own instead went back and forth with their agreements. I stopped counting the times I heard “no one would do that,” or “that is impossible.” Personally, regarding the phrase “No one” I believe, “No one is usually someone you refused to look for.” The passionate character was persistent in her attempt to break through the sound barrier of complacency her fellow collaborators had constructed.

“The shield of complacency is the armor used by those insecure of their place in the future.”

Why do so many leaders make the companies fight for survival, a survival about them? Everyone knows it should be about the customer or lack of them, not the insecure who can’t imagine their place in a new order of things. As I listened, I could hear the stubbornness to maintain completely overwhelm the eagerness to explore. Most of the executives have pre-determined what their customers want along with the experience they desire and they base this pre-determination exclusively on the what and how they currently deliver to market. They are convincing themselves that facts about perceptions outweigh reality.

 “We cloud our thinking of what’s possible when sameness fills the atmosphere around us.”

When organizations or industries arguments for complacency are based only on their past relevance, and past experiences they miss the opportunity to explore and learn how their comfort of currently could ultimately be undermined. Today with ever growing speed, the deliverables of many industries are being reinvented or destroyed. Making way for what the past interpenetrated as impossible a reality. Let’s open the door of the sameness chamber step out and seek what will be the new normal, let’s be the translators of the future we can only do this when we leave our terminal of complacency and enter the world of opportunity.

R.J. Stasieczko        

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