This blog is not a sequel to the one on “Innovation” but it clearly is related in every way. It shows how breaking away from habits can bring about change and innovation at work.
Why is it so difficult to break our routines? It’s hard because our brain is programmed to recognize patterns and to respond automatically. That’s why we don’t think any more on ‘how to get a document copied at the printer’, ‘which way is it to the elevator’ or ‘how to log in to our computer to start work’. So basically breaking our everyday patterns is essential in leading our organization to change.
We all have similar habits in our work: in the way we design our products/services, the way we deliver them to (internal) customers and the way we work together with our colleagues. Now is the time to start to stimulate breakthrough thinking at work, by asking ourselves, or other team members, questions like:
- What would we do if we were a brand new company starting off?
- What would we do if we had unlimited access to money and resources?
- Or if we had on the other hand no access to money or resources at all?
- What would we do if new laws would restrict our present products/services?
- What would we do if we encountered a major competitor entering our small market?
These questions and many others must probe a different way of thinking in all of us. It requires getting out of the norm and the ordinary, comfortable way of pursuing things, and think and do things differently. The saying that doing tasks the same way will provide the same results has never been more relevant in the business place than today. Management and stakeholders of organizations demand more from the staff in terms of productivity and want the organizations to be more successful. Changes in tasks cannot be applied only to lower lever staff.
Organizational leaders must now consider different measures, strategies and structures to implement. These will include: more training with applicable and modern techniques, higher budgets, cost cutting measures, restructuring of the organizational chart, setting clear objectives, a better work environment, consideration from lower level staff when making major decisions, streamlining or redefining some roles, review of some staff functions and a proper performance management system. When these are considered as part of an execution plan then more success and productivity can be generated.
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