Change Without Changing Our Thinking?

by Jay Deragon on 08/27/2012

“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” 
Albert Einstein

A Harvard Business Review article titled Leading Change in the “New Normal” states: There were specific behaviors common to the businesses that coped well with change:

  1. Leave incrementalism behind. Perhaps the biggest benefit of deep and rapid change is that everything needs to be reexamined. When survival is at stake, all the “crazy” ideas that were dismissed earlier resurface for serious discussion. The idea of “go big or go home” is a requirement in today’s economy. Meeting the challenges of scale, distribution and affordability forced fresh thinking. The results also challenge previous notions about what was possible.
  2. Invest in People. One common trait amongst organizations that have emerged as winners during rapid change was a concerted investment in people — from employees to channel partners. It is about people, processes and performance with people coming first.
  3. Increase Stakeholder Engagement. Many of the companies that are now India’s most admired put significant effort into engaging their stakeholders (employees, customers, partners) for a wide variety of things: explaining the policies and beliefs of the company, communicating strategy and milestones, and often involving them in seeking solutions and new ideas.

There are two predictable organization reactions to change — opposition and adaptation. Opposition is no longer a reasonable consideration and adaptation by itself isn’t enough. What now matters is the speed of change that matches or exceeds people expectations for change. People being suppliers, buyers and employees.

Everything is changing so rapidly you have to become the change or get left behind the change.  The average rate of change is no longer average rather exponential. To be part of the change individuals and organizations have to learn how to think and act exponentially about their work and their business.

According to Seth Godin,If you’re the average person out there doing average work, there’s going to be someone else out there doing the exact same thing as you, but cheaper. Now that the industrial economy is over, you should forget about doing things just because it’s assigned to you, or “never mind the race to the top, you’ll be racing to the bottom.”

Business as usual must change to the unusual or die being usual.

{ 2 comments }

Rina Bhakta June 3, 2013 at 6:20 am

You also have be in the heart of change, and when you try to change, make it such that it doesn’t feel like it. It also comes down to psychology.

A great ‘Hero book’ of mine which springs to mind is by Dan and Chip Heath, Switch: How to change things when change is hard.

David Nikolic December 28, 2012 at 2:22 am

Great post Jay!
in a very creative way you have showed that what change individuals and organizations have to learn how to think and act exponentially about their work and their Organization,totally agree with you.

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