The following story speaks to the importance of being alert to changes within our organizations. I found it awhile ago but do not have the name of the author, so my apologies for not mentioning his or her name. If anyone knows to whom this story belongs, please let me know so I can give credit.
The Story…A large lake contains only a single small lily pad. Each day the number of lily pads doubles, until on the thirtieth day the lake is full of lily pads. On which day was the lake half full? The answer is the 29th day.
An astute observer would have noticed changes in the lake and could have seen a pattern. The daily doubling of lily pads should have raised some concerns. A disastrous change was coming. Consider how the lake looked on the 29th day. It was only half full. If you wanted to go swimming you could. You could go boating if you liked. There was plenty of room. Fish were plentiful and fishing was possible. The very next day disaster had struck. The lake was choked. There was no room for swimming or boating. The fish were dying. Early recognition of the doubling pattern could have enabled some action. Now it was too late. Change had struck.