There is a Pattern to the Fall
Great Empire, Companies and People do not just fall suddenly. There are patterns and tell tale signs that we can find them. If only they take heed, they could save their pains. The most obvious tell tale sign is stagnation. The progress has stopped. The decline shall begins soon.
We shall look at the wisdom from a particular hexagram, hexagram 12 Stagnation. For details of i-Ching and the hexagram, please refer to Manage Change with I-Ching and 12 否 Stagnation – Don’t Give Up (Registration required). I will just reproduce the summary here:
Summary of #12 否 Stagnation – Don’t Give Up:
Success brings creeping corruption to cause stagnation and decline. Stagnation could be caused by external factors as well, such as market and technology. The reverse, to revile a stagnation needs initiative orders from the top and support from the righteous people. There is hope but there must be great effort put in to changing stagnation.
The six stages teachings are summarized as:
- Pull out the bad and/or outdated practices or people.
- Watch out for flattery rather than real performance
- Don’t be shameless. Reveal the bad practices as such – bad practices.
- The Top must awake and take actions and gather good people to clear the mess.
- Be careful in executing transformation and get cascaded and aligned support.
- Beginning is hard, but pursue to the end brings joy. Watch out for the law of degradation.
Wisdom line 4, also represent stage 4, tells us the big awakening. The top must be changed or be awakened, and to take steps to transform the company. (I-Ching teaches us much about transformation and break-through in other hexagrams). In a big organization, the CEO cannot do it alone. He must bring in the good and talented people into the organization. Do the reverse of earlier stages, namely, replace bad practices with the up-to-date and good ones. Go on real performance rather than flattery. Restore back the righteous and fair standards.
Line 5 tells the new CEO to continue to cascade the transformation throughout the organization. To link up everything together like a tree (the picture used by i-Ching). Line 6 encourages the CEO that it beginning maybe hard but eventual success will bring great joy and celebration. He that sows in tear will harvest in joy.
Reflections for You
Are you in a job that is involved in turning around a company? Then I encourage you to study i-Ching and learn from it.
Are you working in Google, FaceBook, Apple or other present successful companies, take heed from the teaching of i-Ching and ensure your success is sustainable through time. Build the culture of continued innovation and righteousness within in the organization that you are working for.