Life and business becomes a pattern of routines and after a while we aren’t even conscious of the routines that consume our time and energy. Some routines can be healthy while many others are wasteful and destructive.
Because a routine can become an unconscious pattern of thinking and behavior many fall into destructive routines without even recognizing the fallacy of these routines. Meaningful routines create improved value individually and collectively. Wasteful and meaningless routines create stagnation and waste.The challenge is to recognize the difference between the two and change your routines to do more meaningful and valuable things in life and business.
Routines are Like Treadmills
Early last year I started going to the gym and using the treadmill and nautilus machines at 30 minutes each twice a day. This was a routine my doctor had prescribed as part of my recovery after two open heart surgeries over a two-week period. I had also changed my entire diet routine and eating habits.
When I started it was hard and my walking speed and muscle strength was minimal. After four weeks of two times a day six days a week I was feeling stronger, confident and happy with my progress. Then the physical therapist came by to watch me work out and said “you are not going to make any more progress unless you increase the speed and incline on the treadmill and increase the weights on the nautilus machines”. My response was “you’ve got to be kidding me”. He wasn’t and each month for the last twelve months the incline and speed on the treadmill has increased as has the weights on the nautilus machines.
Although I hadn’t followed any regular exercise routine for more than twenty-five years I am now addicted to the challenge of improving my routines because the results have been better than I expected. Had I not changed up the routine every month my progress would have been stagnant.
Business Operates on the Same Principles
Change surrounds us. Technology is fueling the emergence of new paradigms that don’t fit into the routine thinking of the past. The routine treadmills of business thinking don’ work in a hyper-connected world were global conversations, new discoveries and disruptive innovation are the norm and not the exception.
Unless organizational leaders change their routines of thinking and exercise their minds to understand and believe in the new normals than personal and collective progress will be stagnated.
The body, mind and soul of any business is much like the body, mind and soul of human beings. Unless the body, mind and soul learn to embrace change then the routines of life and business quickly become stagnant.
Stagnation means to stop developing, progressing or moving. In other words you are dead and simply don’t know it yet.