Organizations and customers are rarely on the same page regarding value (utility) and cost. There are often vastly perceptions on both sides of any purchase. Sellers tend to equate the size of the customer's wallet with their own. Buyers, on the other hand, buy for reasons other than price more often than sellers realize. For example, buyers often opt for convenience over price. Finally, the difference (delta) in price between two competing options is highly subjective in any non-commodity market.
In his recent book, Simon Sinek refers to the infinite games of life. We often characterize facets of life as finite, meaning they have an end. There is no ending to fitness or intelligence. Likewise, there is no ending in the game of business. You do not wake up one day and realize the game is over. You have won the game of business. The game persists. You may achieve business milestones such as number one in your market or a million dollars in revenue. The game does not end; the game continues.
Times are changing so fast. Business is changing even more quickly. The pandemic accelerated the digitization of industry six years in a matter of six months. That is correct. What would have happened over the next six years is here now. How does anyone keep pace with this change and adapt quickly?
Many businesses talk about culture, or they aspire to create or achieve a particular culture. What does this mean anyway? Don't all organizations already have a culture? It may not be the culture they desire, but something is already present as an individual personality. There is no such thing as an absent company culture.
Overcoming status quo bias can be a daunting task for leaders. According to the National Academy of Sciences, people tend to accept the status quo when faced with a complicated decision. One factor driving this status quo bias is the difficulty of the decision process. The brain mechanisms involved in making difficult decisions involving a status quo are significant. They operationally define a status quo bias as suboptimal acceptance of a default choice. This thinking is a narrow framing of the definition, in my opinion. Over time, I believe leaders tend to accept the status quo as optimal more so than suboptimal. In other words, you adopt the status quo as appropriate. This logic is the inherent problem for leaders in many organizations.
It is easy to blame people when they fail to perform. It is the go-to for many. However, as a leader you must consider your part of the equation. What have you done to minimize the mental friction in order for the team to understand and take action? How many mental calories do your people need to consume to behave in the manner you desire? In other words, how well do you simplify your vision or instruction to get what you need or want? This self-examination is powerful and can accelerate the results you desire. What if you are the problem because your mind's clear vision is challenging for others to see and make actionable? How can you, as the leader, eliminate or minimize external causes of mental friction? Let's take a look.
Why do you keep doing that? Do you have behavior patterns that you want to stop? If you are like most people, you struggle with behavior (or lack thereof) holding you back or limiting success in various life areas. You want to lose weight, but you cannot ignore the donuts at the office. You want to save money, but you cannot resist the sale at the electronics store. This type of cognitive dissonance is present in everyone. You are not alone, and you are not dysfunctional. You are human.
Do you see opportunities and admire the potential from the safety of your comfort zone (earth)? Or, do you see an opportunity (space) and get an irresistible urge to leap? As we begin in 2021, ask yourself a powerful question. Am I an astronaut or an astronomer?
2021 is upon us. Independent of the calendar, it is just another day. But as is our ritual, we see the beginning of a new year. Each day is the beginning of the next twelve months of our lives. But alas, I will follow our custom of celebration and reflection. It is your opportunity to hold on to the past or become energized about the future.
As we approach 2021 and New Year's resolutions, let's examine what we need to be relentless about in the coming year. Being different in 2021 requires change. What are you willing to change to be different? How can you improve without changing? Doing the same things over and over is the definition of insanity.
We are experiencing fatigue. Fatigue is physical or mental weariness resulting from effort or activity. You are tired of covid19, isolation from others, and the fear of catching a virus in the middle of a global pandemic. Adapting to changes in routine proves to be problematic over time. It's called "pandemic fatigue," and it could be affecting you.
I had a thing for dirt bikes when I was younger. You learn to look for ruts in the trail. A well-placed road rut can separate you from the seat of a motorcycle. And once you are in a road rut, exiting can be treacherous. Someone reading this is now stuck in a business rut, and you are afraid to get out of it. Your business is on the merry-go-round of mediocrity, and you can't seem to turn the page or start a new chapter. It is the same tired people, doing the same average things and accomplishing the same average results. It is no longer fun, and you are mailing it in as a leader. You have no excitement, enthusiasm, or energy. You are stuck!