It’s interesting to me to watch the growing momentum to legalize marijuana. Right now, 33 states allow some use of the drug and 11 states fully allow it for recreational use. It has become part of some presidential candidate platforms and my guess is that it will be federally approved within a few years.
Think about the social initiatives that have started at the state or local level: same-sex marriage, 65mph speed limits, casinos, sports betting, abortion laws, civil rights – many of these issues were approved state by state by state until the federal government stepped in and codified the issue.
Change works the same way in organizations. One unit, department or division first implements a change and then others adopt the practice before it becomes company-wide. Cities create policies that eventually are modeled by the county or state. Siblings develop habits that other siblings emulate before the whole family incorporates them.
It’s incredibly hard to implement big change on a big scale. It’s far more effective to start local and build momentum with pockets of small changes coming together to make a significant shift.