A tenuous thread runs through this issue. In the Management Development feature (pp 5-7), Bill Lucas of the Campaign for Learning emphasises the importance of training our minds to break out of their comfortable habits and improve our learning potential. Then, in the feature on Subscriptions (pp 8-10), we learn of die-hard subscribers who enjoy the certainty of subscription schemes, as they feel comfortable with an ordered way of life where repeated patterns of activity are the norm.
Routine, familiarity and comfort are in themselves neither good nor bad. When searching for new solutions to age-old problems, they are undoubtedly a hindrance; but whilst training our minds to think in new and possibly unconventional ways, we shouldn?t always abandon the methods we have always relied upon to achieve success. As the CBSO case study highlights, it is important to recognise that the comfort zone is where some people ? both staff and customers ? prefer to operate. Challenging them to adopt a new approach to life will do little more than alienate or antagonise them. There?s room in this life for ?go-getters? and the ?routine-seekers?, and so long as we?re not trying to squeeze square pegs into round holes, we should all be able to get along very nicely together. In both professional and organisational development, and in the development of our audiences, a balance between new thinking and consolidation is essential. Let?s hope the Arts Council of England remembers this as it prepares to throw out the old regional arts funding structure ? a comfort zone for many ? and draw up its plans for a rationalised future.