Changing Beliefs: Usual vs Unusual

by Jay Deragon on 10/11/2010

When beliefs change everything changes. With each year that passes one thing is certain, things will change. However the pace of change is no longer as usual and instead has become unusual.  These unusual changes are influencing our beliefs.

Whether for business or personal one change is certain, what used to be impossible is now possible.

The economy is in a state of flux as are the market dynamics for every market segment. If you haven’t noticed markets have been in turmoil for some time and this turmoil is changing how markets work. Business as usual is out and business as unusual is in.

What Is Unusual?

Unusual means doing things differently than you have in the past. Doing things differently in the sense of what, who, when, where and why you do certain things. Social technology is fueling change and the primary change required to do the unusual begins with how we think and what we believe.

Whether personal or professional thinking about making progress in the coming year means we need to put past, present and future changes into context that relate to our own plans.  Today the context is about communications and relationships both which are critical elements to making any progress personally or professionally.

Unusual Communications and Relationships?

What is unusual is that communications and relationships have dramatically shifted away from the usual. Much of the wisdom about relationships and communications is old.  Our culture and markets have rejected age-old wisdom choosing instead to discount relations and propagate meaningless communications for manipulating markets, transactions.

Markets are moving because the market behavior has changed.  Change can be good if you know what is changing and choose to adopt, adjust and use it to make progress towards what is now unusual.

Unusual is Considered Radical

Hayagreeva Rao, from Mckinsey Quarterly writes: “Activists who challenge the status quo play a critical but often overlooked role in both promoting and impeding radical business innovation. Their importance stems from the very nature of innovation, which often challenges existing interests, norms, values, social practices, and relationships. As a result, the joined hands of market rebels—activists and their recruits—have with surprising frequency exerted significant influence on market acceptance of breakthrough products and services.”

Technology is Fueling Radical Change in Beliefs.

Five years ago who would have “believed” that over 500 million people globally would be engaged on Facebook? Who would have “believed” that the internet would have drawn billions of dollars annual in advertising revenue? Who would have “believed” that real-time communications would create addictive behavior from the human network? What business leader would have “believed” that everything they say and do would be transparent to the marketplace?  These changes would have been and still are consider radical. More importantly these changes are indeed changing our beliefs.

To understand radical changes you have to think like a radical. Radical thinking means letting go of the status quo which means often challenging existing interests, norms, values, social practices, and relationships. The reason why you must think this way is because the crowds are rejecting old beliefs which have created the status quo. The crowd has gone radical which you may believe to be unusual. What you believe is unusual is now the usual expectation of the crowds.

To not understand what the crowd believes means you will not likely be able to “connect” with the crowd. Without a “connection” there is little possibility for any kind of relationship or transaction.

{ 1 comment }

Gabriele Maidecchi October 12, 2010 at 8:28 am

Communication is indeed going through radical changes. Since you cite Facebook, just think that the “revolution” behind it happened in one year. One mere year to change the life of half a billion of people. Social changes like this used to take place through decades, the speed is now dramatic. Our habits are shifting and will move towards things that we probably cannot even fathom yet.
This is by all means not an invite to be afraid about the future, more like a plea to embrace it with an open-minded mentality.

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