Safety Zone and The Status Quo Approach

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safety zone

Safety Zone and The Status Quo Approach

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Safety is something that most humans covet. It’s an inherent part of our evolution. We like to feel safe. Is operating in your safety zone or the status quo holding you back?

Safety and the status quo tend to keep everyone stuck.

Status Quo is Sticky

We don’t speak up at the meeting. It is safer to just observe. It saves embarrassment, perhaps revealing a weakness, or worse, getting blacklisted or fired for a bad idea.

We don’t apply for the new job. Maybe we aren’t that good. Maybe we’ll fail, or maybe they will decide they don’t like me so I better stay put. It is safe.

It is often suggested to represent the evidence of loyalty, commitment, or how we do it here.

Gradually, across time, our jobs and workplaces create the feeling of safety and security. There is a feeling of comfort in the status quo.

The Paradox

Yet, every day organizations are mostly looking to serve more, do more, create new, get bigger, be stronger, and last longer.

The contrast between safety and change is sometimes nearly invisible to the employee, yet the lingering feeling is often a cause for discomfort.

It is ever present in the job change. The increased workload. Picking up the slack for another person or workgroup, or the message from leadership that the economic climate requires change.

Safety Zone

It is ironic that the best organizations are the ones operating on the edge. The very edge of in control versus out of control. The organization that pushes the button, finds ways to become more efficient, and takes big leaps while others stand wishfully pondering the edge.

Everything is changing. Changing rapidly. The status quo is not safe.

True for the organization. True for the individual.

Excitement, engagement, and growth happen just on the other side of the safety zone.


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+

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