When was the last time you challenged your own routine?
Recently, in the midst of a Keynote delivery, I had the opportunity to pose this question to the audience, but added a twist ~ how would you advise someone else to challenge their routine? We do love to give advice, it’s much, much easier than taking advice, right? To my astonishment, there were still very few specific ideas that the audience could offer. “Do things different…” was one idea. “Listen to other people’s ideas…” was another. Key learning moment achieved – it’s hard to even think of doing things differently.
The reason for my query was to align with the message of our ability to tolerate ambiguity. Many of us, willingly or not, have become mechanical in our dedication to routine. As such, we are often ill-prepared to respond when change is thrust upon us.
In his book Hacking Uncertainty, Price Pritchett explains the importance of challenging our daily routines; “seemingly trivial changes” begin to build our tolerance for change. Flexibility begets flexibility, even if the change seems insignificant.
This is a tenet of true change management ~ don’t forget the people involved in the change. The processes involved in change can be managed, but the emotional response relies is decidedly individual and unpredictable unless we work to improve.
Find your opportunities to shock your need for routine. Don’t think too hard about the perfect challenge, and don’t set your sights on the unrealistic or unlikely. Find small, meaningful changes to chip away at your normal programming, and build your tolerance for the unpredictable.