Galileo is widely credited with being the first scientist to formalise the concept of inertia. It’s fundamentally the same concept as Newton’s first law of motion. Objects in motion tend to remain in motion, whilst objects at rest tend to remain at rest. You’re probably wondering how this is in any way relevant to business, management or your organisation. Consider that, perhaps, inertia applies to people, as well as objects.
We’ve all seen organisations overtaken by lethargy, procrastination and an ingrained culture to maintain the status-quo. People stagnate, hesitating to deviate from performing the same tasks in the same manner. It’s generally very difficult to change that culture, and get the organisation moving in the intended direction. It’s classic inertia. People who are stationary tend to remain stationary.
There is some good news, even for companies with deeply ingrained cultures, maintaining the status-quo. You’ll recall that inertia also applies to objects in motion. Consequently, when you motivate and inspire people to take calculated risks and change antiquated practices, they tend to keep wanting to do so. People in motion tend to remain in motion.