In 2024, it’s time to get used to adding that four at the end, instead of a three. For me, it always takes a week or so. The power of habit is great and we often continue to do what we have done before. This also applies to businesses.
Of course, we are in great need to do so as well, otherwise our lives would not work at all. Research shows that as much as 95% of all brain capacity is devoted to performing autonomous tasks and thinking the subconscious thoughts.
If we assume that the bottom of that 95% is what we should leave as it is. We continue to breathe, digest the food, etc. The underlying signals from the brain are necessary and serve us well.
It is in the upper part of this 95% that we have an opportunity to reprogram these thoughts to improve ourselves.
To successfully change a behavior that we have, which is often automatic, we need to change these underlying automatic thoughts.
Broken promises and excuses
Many people make New Year’s resolutions in various forms. We should lose weight, stop smoking, start exercising or whatever. To do these things, you need to change the automatic thoughts that control your behavior.
The thoughts that make you grab that cookie in the break room, find an excuse to go out for a walk, or whatever it is that you do that you need to change in order to achieve your goal.
Setting a goal without also making a plan, and then purposefully following it, is just a wish without action.
This also applies to your business. However, it will be a bit more challenging and complex, because many of you need to change your mindset, collectively, to succeed. There is an inherent inertia in all systems. The larger the system, the greater the inertia. But at the same time, you are helped by your colleagues and they by you.
Do you have challenges in your business that you need to solve? If not, then you can move on as it is. If you have, you need to think about whether you really want to change.
If you want that, you also need to make a plan on how to get there. You then need to follow that plan to create the conditions you need to implement whatever it is you need to do to overcome your challenges.
Changing the automatic behavior of the business
You can choose to do one of three things:
The first is to do nothing. This will allow you to delve deeper into the challenge you face. The world is changing all the time and you will not be able to keep up, you are still under pressure and you will continue the journey towards the “disaster”, whatever it looks like.
The second is that you do what you did before, but you speed up the pace. You are doing more of the same. Working harder. More overtime, less service to customers (whatever you call them), more reorganizations and more crisis meetings.
All to keep you around the same level you have today. You are staying afloat, but it is not a good situation. It only surpasses the drop that occurs if you choose option one.
The third is to actually grab the situation and do something completely different. You need to think in a different way. You need to question everything to find what you can change. It is the structure that is the barrier to success. So you have to change the structure to move forward. Not change within the existing structure, because it is within option two.
As with your own automatic thoughts and automatic behaviors, you need to change your organization’s automatic thoughts and automatic behaviors.
I need to stop making my arm automatically reach for that delicious bun on the plate in front of me if I want to lose weight.
In business, you need:
- Change is organization at its core,
- see the business in a different way,
- change the way you budget, if you have a budget at all,
- change how you measure and monitor,
All this is to change the underlying structures, the mindset, of how you do business. This is a must if you are to meet current and future challenges.
It should feel uncomfortable
Just to play with two thoughts that I come across, where it immediately feels very uncomfortable:
Consider the above for your business. Does it feel unfamiliar, scary, impossible? Then you are on the right track.
Carrying out improvement work is not easy, it is venturing into uncertain territory. It is part of the work itself. You have to embrace it, because that’s where success lies and it will get and feel better over time.
Would you like to discuss the above and what it could look like for you? I am here to discuss your situation and your organization free of charge. Contact me and we will meet online for a briefing.