Minnesota’s state government remains shut down. Why? Because a divided government could not agree on how to resolve a budget shortfall by its constitutional deadline. As of this writing, a framework for an agreement has been reached, but the details are still being sorted through. From the standpoint of most Minnesotans, the shutdown represents a failed government and lots of bad behavior.
This shutdown is quite visible, thanks to a hard deadline and serious consequences for not meeting it. That’s a good thing. As I work with organizations of every type, I encounter similar circumstances to what’s happening in Minnesota. There’s a big problem or big opportunity, depending on how one looks at it. There are vastly different opinions about how to deal with it. And nobody budges. The result is a decision that doesn’t get made.
What makes it different is that there usually isn’t a hard deadline. Instead the parties just continue talking, never reaching a decision. Without a decision, opportunities are missed and problems linger as the ramifications become more obvious and serious.
Look around your organization. Where are the decisions that aren’t getting made? Who’s involved? What’s the sticking point? What’s being done to get past the impasse.
As side-liners in the state’s budget debate, we are cheering, jeering, or doing our best to ignore the whole thing. Within our own organizations and in our lives, they are us. We are called to decide. Sometimes this means giving in. Sometimes it means finding another answer that works for everyone. Sometimes it means standing strong and fighting for what is right. Regardless of the strategy, the problem must be resolved.
Whether or not our elected officials resolve the disputes they find themselves in is not in our control. We do have control over the disputes we are in. Work them out. Please.
Photo by Fibonacci Blue