Reaction or Decision
Are we deciding or automatically reacting? I was at a stop sign the other day in the hot summer weather here in Nashville, and a thought emerged when I turned left; was that just a reaction to the commonality in my routine drive home, or did I actually decide to turn left? Every day we are presented with opportunities to make decisions. In reality, I think most of us are automatically reacting without really much thought - we just simply do what we make common.
So as I had these thoughts, I decided that for the next couple days I would strive to not react, but rather, decide. When I approached the stop sign again, I decided to go straight instead of right, and after two years of living in my neighborhood, I discovered a better route home. It was a little bit farther, but it had no stop signs and turned out to be quicker. This was an interesting concept to me; it made me stop and consider what else I have just automatically reacted to.
In business, everything revolves around improvement. When we expect no change, we will never invoke it. What if there were new discoveries in the way we conduct business, which were more beneficial – much like in the way I went straight instead of turning right when heading home.
“Too many times we stick to our guns as they say; we become unconsciously static in our decisions.”
After all, for most of us, saying we always do it this way seems safe. We believe that there are more important things to decide than thinking about how to change things up; things we are comfortable with. A few months back, I attended a trade show. One of the topics was, of course, the importance of change - my how the old is forever new. I noticed at this three day event that every time the group met in the main venue, everyone kept sitting in the same seat – the same seat they sat in at the last meeting there. The other thing I noticed was everyone agreed wholeheartedly that change is the constant we all must embrace; except of course changing our seats.
We all know it’s not that we’re afraid we will meet someone new; it’s that we are unconsciously geared to remain at the status quo. This seems like such an easy thing to do. Next time you’re at a trade convention, do yourself a favor - sit somewhere different every day; who you meet and what you learn could be life changing. Think of this: if you have a struggle with something as simple as changing your seat, how could ever expect to change the hard stuff?
“You can’t walk a new path forward if you allow the old path to continue to get under your feet.”
What we believe is safe can be the most dangerous thing in front of us. Caution has its place when there are real reasons for caution, however it should not become the the title of our business plan, and when it’s more than just a small component of our plan. We will be subconsciously telling ourselves ‘safe is better than sorry’; and that’s one of the biggest lies in life!
So the next time you are presented with an opportunity to decide something, take a second and really decide - don’t react. You may not only save time driving home, you might discover something that was just outside your world. Improvement comes from change - it always has and always will, and change must be decided on. After all –“Status quo is the killer of all that will be invented.”
Entre/Intrapreneur helping organizations innovate looking for next opportunity