Declaring breakdowns: powerfully creating a future that matters, through 6 simple steps
By sameer dua
Iwant to begin with a claim that declaring a breakdown is not a bad thing to do. On the contrary, it is a good thing to do. A very good thing to do. That is exactly what all of us in The 5 AM Club did.
When you declare a breakdown, you actively participate in your life, in the process of creating or designing a future of your choice. This book is about you getting skilled in designing a future of your choice. And to do that, you declare breakdowns.
One of the definitions of ‘breakdown’ in the dictionary is the act of disrupting an established order so it fails to continue.
Humans are most times blind to how and when a certain order gets formed and then we do not even question this order. This order is the way we do things. At a lot of times, this order works for us. And at many other occasions, we simply continue to operate in this automatic or programmed mode without questioning the order that gets formed. This now does not work for us anymore.
The way to deal with this is to declare a breakdown.
When I use the word ‘breakdown’, a lot of people ‘listen’ to a mechanical breakdown. In one of my consulting assignments with a global organization with a turnover in excess of $40 billion-a member of the top management team laughed when I suggested that they declare a breakdown. He looked at the other members of the top management team and laughingly said, ‘We declare breakdowns when the lift is not working or the printer is not working’. Later, when he understood the importance of declaring breakdowns, he said, ‘This is so powerful! I’m surprised-I did not know this!’
This is the cultural blindness of today’s corporate world. Many executives across the world do not know when and how to declare a breakdown. According to them, common sense states that you do not declare breakdowns. As a matter of fact, Bert Lance, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget in Jimmy Carter’s administration, was quoted in the newsletter of the US Chamber of Commerce, Nation’s Business, May 1977, stating, ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’.
While Bert Lance’s claim does make sense in a lot of occasions, there are as many other occasions where it