“Not again,” she reported to me. “Just when we think we are out of the trough of chaos, something happens and we are back into a new one or back into the old one. What are we supposed to do?”
I paused before I answered the question. Feeling like you are in perpetual trough of chaos can be quite depressing and very overwhelming. It can take the wind of our your sails, referencing an old New England term.
“There will always be a trough of chaos,” I responded. “But let’s pause and remember something. The trough of chaos is the result of a commitment to continual improvement. If a team, a division or a company wants to get better or to improve something, then there will be a trough of chaos. If a company recognizes that the market or their customer base has shifted or is shifting, then there will be a trough of chaos. If a company realizes that it’s core business model is no longer viable due to the rise of the digital economy, then there will be a trough of chaos. In short, there will always be a trough of chaos unless you are committed to perpetuating status quo for the rest of your company’s history.”
She looked out the window for a moment and then back at all of the piles on her desk. “We are committed to getting better. It is integral to the strategic nexus of this company. Therefore, I guess, we are going to have to frame up the trough of chaos as a normal part of our lives moving forward.”
“Yes. Working through a trough of chaos is not a bad thing; it is a normal thing.”
“Thanks for pointing this out to me.”
“My pleasure. That’s why you and visit on a regular basis.”
This week, come to peace that if you want to continually get better at what you do, there will always be a trough of chaos.