Change is a constant in our lives. As constant as the dawn or the sunset. Every day is different and change is an ever-present aspect of living.
Change is feared because often we are not in control of it, especially in business. Key employees leave, new competitors emerge, customers disappear. (These changes are in your control, but that's the subject of another post.)
Change forces us out of our habits. And habits are a basic human mechanism for dealing with the complexities of everyday life.It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.Charles Darwin
The Power of Habit, NY Times business writer Charles Duhigg explores the science behind why we do what we do (and how.)
Neuroscientists have traced our habit-making behaviors to a part of the brain called the basal ganglia, which also plays a key role in the development of emotions, memories and pattern recognition. Decisions, meanwhile, are made in a different part of the brain called the prefrontal cortex. But as soon as a behavior becomes automatic, the decision-making part of your brain goes into a sleep mode of sorts.Some habits are highly effective:
"In fact, the brain starts working less and less," says Duhigg. "The brain can almost completely shut down. ... And this is a real advantage, because it means you have all of this mental activity you can devote to something else."
Others less so.
Here are some simple but powerful changes a business owner can make in his/her own habits to drive change and gain more control over his/her organization:
- Developing and communicating a “Vision”
- Creating a “Playbook” to set and prioritize goals
- Learning to say “no"
- Delegating more and more effectively
- Seeking external perspective and accountability
What's your compass reading today?