The water in the stream was brown. An indication that a significant amount of dirt had been washed into the stream or a lot of erosion was occurring during the recent rains. But just a bit downstream, another stream fed in with perfectly clear water, mixing to make the water slightly less brown. Flowing through many little dams along the way down the stream helped, but there was just too much dirt to get cleaned out before it was beyond my line of sight.
Mixing the good in with the bad happens in business too. Sometimes the thinking goes that fixing just a part of a broken system or process will make things better. But when the good stuff gets mixed in, it usually just frustrates the people who are working with the good part, because they have to deal with the bad. And no matter how much new and good processes get added in, they can’t overcome the old stuff until it is removed. The bad is setting the pace and the expectations.