It’s Districts time! Everyone is hard at work trying to punch their ticket to Nationals. How are you holding up? Is it the same old routine? Have you changed your approach? Is it time that you should?
“If you only do what you always did you will only get what you’ve always got.” I found myself telling this to a friend today. She was upset because her life seems to be stuck in a cycle of vicious repetition. I was trying to help her see that she needed to invoke and embrace change if she ever wanted things to turn out differently.
After Coach Littler sent me the article he wanted me to share with all of you this week, I found it oddly coincidental that the message it contained seems very similar to some of things I was trying to help my friend with. Take a look at this commentary on embracing change.
THE CHIEF UNCONVENTIONAL THINKER
Often, a more critical question is not whether something makes sense, but rather, does it work? - The Daily Coach, March 10, 2020
“It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.” — Upton Sinclair, Trailblazing Author & Muckraker
Change is hard for all of us — especially when it forces us to move outside our comfort zone during a stressful period, like the final month of a sports season. But as former Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki once said:
“If you don’t like change, you are going to like irrelevance even less.”
For some, like Blockbuster video or Kodak photography, a failure to adapt can not only make you irrelevant, it can make you extinct.
In Rory Sutherland’s fantastic book, Alchemy, he writes about how change can benefit our daily lives. He urges us not to criticize something just because we don’t understand it.
Something may be valuable but doesn’t have to be valuable all the time. Nature doesn’t take shortcuts, and what may seem nonsensical to us may be perfectly logical from an evolutionary perspective.
Often, a more critical question is not whether something makes sense, but rather, does it work?
The trick is always to remember and ask if something is smart both logically and psychologically.
The critical point of the book for all of us who lead: “An unconventional ‘rule’ that nobody else uses can yield more significant results than a ‘better’ rule that everybody else uses.”
The fear of trying something new in season is frightening to all, which is why every leader needs an unconventional thinker on staff. Call him/her the Chief Unconventional Thinker. Let all know, thinking differently is paramount.
For example, pharmaceutical companies typically spend massive amounts of money on research and development, which is their bloodline — it’s their unconventional thinkers.
They understand without new products, they cannot survive. And without new ideas, without someone always thinking “outside the box,” all future progress will come to an end.
Peter Drucker, the Austrian-born American management consultant, educator, and author, once said in the early 1970’s that: “Entrepreneurial innovation will have to become the very core of management.”
Back then, Drucker was urging us not to fight change, not to resist new ideas — even if they appeared illogical. Drucker wanted us to shift our perspective, shift our process of discovery, which Sutherland offers his view:
Sutherland believes “a change in perspective is worth 80 IQ points and the inability to change perspective is likely associated with stupidity.” Never assume that 1×10 is the same as 10×1. In physics and math, it is, but psychologically it is not. For example, it is much easier to fool 10 people once than one person 10 times.
The process of discovery is not the same as the process of justification. There is way more serendipity and experimentation involved in developments than is often attributed. When we try to justify not changing, we never experiment, we never walk down the unknown path, nor do we experience a serendipitous moment.
Today, Sutherland gives us a book to help us.
As hockey players, it is all too common for us to get caught up in routine and repetition. We all have witnessed the player so caught up in a ritual or superstition that it borders committable O.C.D. Day in and day out we hone our craft by replicating the same series of movements over and over again until it becomes easy. Until it becomes comfortable. Sometimes that very comfort can be the barrier that prevents us from reaching the next step. We become so comfortable that we fear any change in our habit. Stepping outside of that comfort zone and forcing the change in yourself is sometimes just the key we need, in order to grow.
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