I know I just posted about it, but I’m very impressed with the quality of what’s going up on the new blog from ASAE & The Center for Association Leadership (called Acronym). Guest blogger Ben Martin even referenced my post about the power of trust. His post talks about the conflict between conventional wisdom and unconventional wisdom, specifically in the context of choosing Board members by merit (unconventional) versus by the “old boy network” of who you know (conventional). The last line of his post reads:

And isn’t it interesting that as ‘unconventional wisdom’ unseats ‘conventional wisdom,’ it becomes the new ‘conventional wisdom’? The roles are reversed. Does it cycle like this forever?

The answer is, yes. As long as the new conventional wisdom represents a synthesis, rather than a simple choice. If the old way was simply choosing based on who you know, you don’t want the “new” way to be merely a new criteria like merit (that ignores who you know). The new way should extract the valuable parts of the old way and incorporate them into a new way. And once the new way becomes established, it’s time to come up with a new new way (again, extracting the value and incorporating it into the new solution). There may be some back and forth pattern (doesn’t it seem like we go back and forth between centralizing and decentralizing in organizations?), but hopefully it is like a spiral: back and forth, but always moving up. A lot of life follows this pattern.