“If you don’t see the book you want on the shelves, write it.” – Beverly Cleary
It’s easy for any of us to get stuck in a rut. We’d prefer to call it a routine, but it can become essentially the same thing. We do so many things automatically, almost without thinking, things we’ve done so many times they’ve just become second nature. Sometimes it would appear we don’t put much thought into anything at all that we’re doing.
Maybe some of that stuff is OK. We can be way more efficient when we’re doing things we’ve done a thousand times. Change and doing new things can be exhausting, and doing things we’re familiar with can save some energy for challenges that we know we’re going to face.
But what if those things we’re doing on autopilot aren’t the right things? What if they were the right things two or ten or twenty years ago, but now they’re irrelevant, or necessary, or even detrimental? What if they were a perfect fit for a world that no longer exists?
Too many organizations seem to have “as little disruption as possible” as their goal. If everybody just has the chance to keep their heads down and work, they would say, then we’ll be successful. If we can just steer clear of noise and distractions and obstacles, and just have a few normal years, we’ll be fine.
Except that noise and distractions and obstacles are normal. We have to get over the idea that those challenges are the outliers, and embrace the idea that those challenges are how we’re going to grow and succeed. Stop looking forward ways you can keep doing what you’re doing & start thinking about how you could do something totally different.
Obviously change fatigue is a real thing, and as humans it’s stressful and tiring to look to blow things up and start over. I’m not talking about reimagining everything you’re doing and starting from scratch on a weekly basis. What I’m talking about is looking at those challenges as the way you & your organization are going to get better, and not being afraid of doing things you haven’t done before.
Look at your business today. Look at the way you lead. What are you doing simply because that’s how it was done before? What exists the way it does by default? What are you NOT being intentional about?
There’s a starting point. Get to work.