The broken window theory proposed by James Wilson and George Kelling in 1982 suggested that a broken window can lead to increased disorder throughout a neighborhood.
The chief principle is that when minor problems go unresolved, it has a snowball effect that begins a cycle of constant disruption and general chaos.
For example, in the study conducted the broken window stood as a metaphor for a greater idea that if something as small as a window pane can go unnoticed, there must be other things that will be neglected as well.
This would eventually lead to higher crime rates and increased lawlessness. For the simple fact that no one is readily available to fix a window let alone enforce general rules and regulation.
This theory has been amazingly accurate in forecasting human behavior as well as business practices. The general ebb and flow of these two examples have a clear pattern that confirms the trend.
The theory when applied to our lives can have an incredible impact on changing the way we conduct ourselves through our actions but most importantly our inaction.
For instance, someone who regularly forgets to brush their teeth is also more likely to neglect other areas of hygiene as well. If the trends continue, who’s to say that showering regularly and clipping finger nails are too far off?
Now, this may seem trivial at first glance, but the small things do add up to significant issues later on. You have undoubtedly seen examples of this displayed in the lives of your friends and family.
Organizations like the homeowners association are made for this very reason. It’s to combat the quiet rumblings of minor issues that can grow into a tangled web of disarray. By actively enforcing posted guidelines groups can effectively stop the problem from spreading and deal with it on the spot.
However when such “insignificant” issues are overlooked it often leads to a downward spiral that gets harder to fix the longer it’s ignored. This principle stands true in all aspects of life which magnifies the importance of our discipline and due diligence.
Without these two characteristics, the compounding effect that takes place can make the difference between a good and bad.
Conversely, this theory can be utilized to propel someone or something to great success through positive action instead of bowing down to the consequences of the inaction.
By using this approach in our life and business, we will have the propensity to cut out unwanted issues while optimizing the good ones!