As early as in ancient times, reformation was met with defiance. In the 6th century B.C., Athenian politician Solon executed reformation to resolve the gap between the rich and poor. His reformation plan was considered a neutral and reasonable policy, which however was not well received by both the rich and poor. There are more bumps on the road to reforming organizations such as public agencies, military and businesses. They express their opposition even in systemic manner. What’s worse, organizational helplessness is more threatening to society than organizational defiance. Those under protection of rules and practices are bound to be less adjustable to change. Those dependent on the power of an organization they belong to are used to following what others advise them to do. If that happens, opponents raise their voices that reformation has pushed people’s morale downward. Such an old-school argument has been adopted for opponents to make reformation null and inefficient while hiding their explicit opposition to reformation.
Then, what is morale? It was all the more significant during war. Strategist Sun Tzu during the Warring States period, who supported rational and precise thinking, emphasized the importance of soldiers rushing toward on a battle field just as cascades fall down in large amounts. As such, he put focus on morale. However, he did not define what morale means and what to do to boost morale. He only mentioned the effects of morale – as if cascades were falling down.
Gen. George Smith Patton, one of the main contributors during the Second World War, defined what morale is. By his definition, it is to order troops to rush out of the trench even in the rains of bullets, which is closer to the performance by moral than to the nature of it. Maybe, his answer can be enough to quell questions over morale. According to Sun Tzu and Patton, reformation does not decrease morale. Rather than that, when morale lacks from the beginning, it allows an organization to be overwhelmed by helplessness. It is worrisome that such a deep sense of lethargy soaks the minds of us. Have we lacked in morale in nature or have we got lost even with morale?