VQ Special – Follow Up from Doug Lipp


Embrace Change … to Remain the Same

– By Doug Lipp

Which Are You?

  • A fresh-out-of-school hard charger. You’ve enjoyed amazing academic success and are now on a mission to build your career and change the world.
  • A successful, middle-aged professional. You have been in business for a number of years.

In some cases, you have started your own business and are successful as an independent. For others, you have skillfully worked your way up through the ranks of a large organization and survived numerous political battles.

  • You are in a science-based industry and comfortable with the reams of data that support your craft … yet struggle to gain marketshare in the ever-changing world.

You represent the variety of faces of success of your profession … and you are ripe for failure. As many organizations learn the hard way, success breeds arrogance and arrogance can lead to complacency. Complacency can come in many forms and one of them is the one trick pony. In other words, you ride your successes-to-date well beyond their effective lifespans. It could be how you lead your team, or it could be the way you have traditionally served and supported your patients. It’s time to change.

The key to getting beyond the one trick pony is to level with yourself and recognize that, quite possibly, the way you currently conduct business is out of date, out of touch or simply one dimensional. Perhaps your patients would like services that you don’t currently provide. Having the biggest or oldest name in the business might not be the key to holding onto existing or attracting new customers and employees. In order to remain the same (successful!), we must all change.

Even Monkeys Fall from Trees

This an old Japanese proverb that captures the challenges every organization and leader ultimately faces; regardless of how capable or skilled we are, we all eventually lose our balance and make mistakes. We fall from our trees, especially when we resist change. The benefits of managing the change process proactively, rather than accepting the consequences of having change forced upon us, should convince anyone to let go of the defenses and excuses that prevent creativity and innovation. Proactively managing change provides at least two benefits:

  1. We remain in our metaphorical trees longer,
  2. We rebound from difficulty much faster (and get back in the tree!).

So as we approach the dog-days of summer, 2016, ponder these questions:

  1. When you last “fell out of your tree,” how did you handle it? Did you accept responsibility or blame others?
  2. Are you, or your offices, so successful that you can’t imagine a competitor unseating you from your lofty perch?
  3. Are you are prone to holding on to the “old ways,” despite massive marketplace changes?
  4. When is the last time you “failed successfully?”

Lessons from Disney

At the Texas State Optical Vision Quest in June, I was honored to share multiple examples of how many organizations, including Disney, have evolved over the years. Each of the success stories

I presented can be enjoyed by any organization, large or small.

As I shared at Vision Quest, Van France, founder of the world-famous Disney University, was one of my mentors at Disneyland. Walt Disney hired Van to help him create “The Happiest Place on Earth.” Van was brutally honest and constantly challenged us to look beyond budgetary or other constraints when addressing problems. Consider how you will bring to life the following quote from Van that I shared during the conference.

“Budgets might be tight … creativity is free.” – Van France

Doug Lipp helped create the first international version of the Disney University at Tokyo Disneyland and then lead the Disney University Training team at Disney’s corporate headquarters,

The Walt Disney Studios. He mentored under a number of Disney visionaries, including the Disney University founder, Van France. He is a consultant to corporations around the world.