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You Say You Want A Revolution

On the song Revolution that appeared on the White Album many Beatles experts think John Lennon wrote “We all want to change the world” and “We’d all love to see the plan” to express his doubts about the methods being employed by some of the 60s protest movements who wanted to use him as a sponsor or spokesperson.


I like to consider myself a Beatles expert of sorts and I think that John may have been trying to tell the maintenance reliability community something as well. For example:


You say you want a revolution well you know
We all want to change the world


Of course we all think that if the world around would only change – life and work would be so wonderful. We all imagine what the default future looks like if nothing changes and sometime's the language we use to describe that future actually plays an important role in serving that same future to us.. What John wanted us to know is that each one of us can write a new future by changing the responses we have to world around us – and in that way – change the world.


You say you got a real solution, well you know
We'd all love to see the plan

I think what John is saying is that many of us think we know the solution to the challenges we face but very few of us have a plan. Those that do have a plan often fail to invite the stakeholders to help write that plan. You will not be able to move away from the default future until you invite everyone involved to co-author the future with you.


You ask me for a contribution, well you know
We're all doing what we can...


In his infinite wisdom John Lennon is telling us not to wait for someone else to contribute. If you begin with your own contribution, you will find it is much easier to get others to contribute.


You say you'll change the constitution, well you know
We all want to change your head


One way to look at John’s message here is to consider changing the language we use to describe how situations occur to us. The words we choose to describe things often create the future reality for us. Try to describe a challenge in a new way that includes possibility for change or improvement. Try it again.

Terrence O'Hanlon

Terrence O’Hanlon, CMRP, and CEO of Reliabilityweb.com® and Publisher for Uptime® Magazine, is an asset management leader, specializing in reliability and operational excellence. He is a popular keynote presenter and is the coauthor of the book, 10 Rights of Asset Management: Achieve Reliability, Asset Performance and Operational Excellence. www.reliabilityweb.com

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