Fall and Initiative Fatigue

What can leaves teach us about initiative fatigue?

Fall is upon us (well, not yet here in Houston). Leaves are going through their annual changes, and in some places in the Northern hemisphere, they’ve already fallen.

The dying leaves are a necessary part of growth. Old leaves die and make room for new growth in the spring. According to Harvard University’s 4000 acre Harvard Forest:

Under optimal conditions this process of chlorophyll loss is very orderly and allows the plants to resorb much of the nitrogen in the structure of the pigment molecule.

The same is true for avoiding initiative fatigue.

Old programs must cease to make room for better programs.

Best practices must make room for better practices.

But without an orderly process for this to occur, initiative fatigue can set in. An orderly process includes:

  • knowing what to say no to,
  • when to say stop, and
  • how to plan for initiative pauses.

Here are two concepts that can help:

  1. What is Conformity Bias?
  2. The tension between Continuity and Change

Without an orderly process for innovation to occur, initiative fatigue can set in.