We have all heard it, we need to break the cycle of everyday thinking. But that is not easy, we are the creators of our own habits, so we can become the breaker of habits. You know it and I know it, the only constant in the world of business is change, but habits are the opposite of change. So you need to make the choice keep your habits and fight change or break your habits and become the force of change.
To break the cycle, you need to do three things at two levels. The first level is to change your own habits and the second level is to change the habits of your organization.
You can do it by the following steps:
- Question assumptions
- Reason through logic
- Diversify thought
Start by setting down, looking at your next assignment. Ask yourself why you are doing it like that, could there be a better way of doing this assignment. We are creatures of habits just because it is the easy choice. Trying to do things different means you need to think about how you are doing them. It means you need to take the time to look at the assignment and research other ways of doing them.
Now try to take this mindset to the organizational view, now it gets hard. The best way of approaching this mindset is through digital transformation. The transformation brings new habits and new ways of doing things. It is easier to break a habit during formation then after. The simple answer on why digital transformation is the best way lays in the core of why you are doing transformation. You are doing the digital transformation to do things better and you can not do it with the current set of tools available. So, you need change, why not take the question of status quo with that change. Make it part of the organizational culture.
Reason through logic
I like to say: we are all reasonable people and we use our logic to guide us. But when it comes to our habits, we are not reasonable people and we do not guide ourselves through our logic. We use our habits to guide us and through out the reason in our actions. We use habits through logic. We can break this cycle as individuals by looking at our problems through information instead of our habits. Start by looking at the problem without deciding on how to solve it. Research the problem from beginning to end and then use your reason to drive your logic to solve the problem. Did you get the same approach to the problem? Or did you end up getting a new approach?
Now your organization, you can do the same. Think how do you solve problems today? And is there a better way? A lot of the internal process of a company today is automated, and that is great. But think next time you are going to develop a new campaign for a new product, who do you need to create the campaign. The habit would properly say sales and marketing department, but have you ever thought maybe warehouse management might have input on the campaign? Their have a better insight into how it is possible to deliver the campaign from the shipping point of view, so they might have ideas on new ways of doing it. Have the reason to seek out information and partnership across the organization and add your logic to the problem. Make decision based on reason, context and logic both as individual and organizational level.
We are all different, no matter what. We are all people working to meet the goals of the organization. But when it comes to hiring people, we are still set in our habits. We are hiring the ones that fit the person profile. We are not looking for new blood or new ways of thinking. Breaking the barrier between the last guy and the new guy is never easy. But think, when some leaves your or you need to grow, would that not be the perfect time to start thinking different when it comes to hiring or shifting assignments around in the organization to make room for new profiles and new blood? There are simple ways of starting this, I have worked with many companies where departments are almost split into Men and Women. If you have an all women department, hire a man and the other way around. Men and Women think different and have different ways of doing things.
Hiring and firing allows you to look at the department and say how can we do it different. Are we meeting the demands of the company and consumers? Does the design of the department need to change?
Just do something different, it will help you think different.
Anders Holmberg Lange is the Co-Founder of Entername, a company with the core belief that strategy should be simple, understandable and evolving. Designing 360 digital campaigns and leading selected clients from digital transformation to digital excellence in Marketing, business and sales.
Anders has been working with major global brands the last 15 years, taking them from digital transformation to digital strategy to digital excellence and delivering double digits growth rates across the board. He worked in industries like fashion, banking, entertainment and for leisure companies. No matter there were fortune 500 companies or startups, Anders was always building around a gamification approach creating win-win strategies.