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Change (the) Rules

Change, Examples | | Tom Suddes

Change (the) Rules Napkin)

This play on words comes from my good friend Dick Celeste, President of Colorado College. Former Rhodes Scholar. Former Governor of Ohio. Former Ambassador to India. And currently, terrific father and grandfather. Dick gets this whole thing around CHANGE.

In this generation’s lexicon, ‘RULE’ is a good thing. So, yes, CHANGE does ‘RULE’.

At the same time, in order to really CHANGE something (yourself, your organization, the world), you also have to CHANGE (THE) RULES.

Paul Arden, in his wonderful little book It’s Now How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want To Be, speaks for a multitude of entrepreneurs and change agents when he says,

“You can’t solve the problem if you’re playing by the RULES.”

I believe it’s much stronger than that.


Obviously, without violating any moral or ethical principles, when it comes to trying to solve important social problems, health problems, education problems, financial problems… THERE ARE NO RULES.

  1. “BE the CHANGE you want to see in the world.”


    Gandhi’s eponymous quote is on everything from t-shirts to coffee mugs to bumper stickers. The power of this quote is around the word ‘BE’… which translates to ‘DO’.

    CHANGE is up to us. Some of you reading this can actually CHANGE THE WORLD, especially leaders of CHANGE ORGANIZATIONS. All of us have the ability to CHANGE OUR world, our health, our income, our relationships, our lives.

  2. “EVERY organization needs to ABANDON almost EVERYTHING that it does.”

    —Peter Drucker

    The man has written what seems like hundreds of books and thousands of articles. This is surely one of my favorite quotes. He says EVERY. He didn’t even use the word CHANGE. He said ‘ABANDON’. He also didn’t talk about kaizen or tweak. He said (almost) EVERYTHING.

    Again, I would bring you back to the idea of breaking some RULES, especially if those rules are merely constraints on thinking differently.

  3. “Every organization is PERFECTLY DESIGNED to get the RESULTS they are getting.”

    —Tim Kight

    Tim Kight is a friend and truly brilliant thinker. His quote is so obvious, yet always generates an AHA! moment.

    If we’re not happy with current results or outcomes or the situation… we need to CHANGE the DESIGN of what created the result.