As humans, we are biologically programmed to resist change. But studies show that our aversion to change can be dangerous. After all, everything in life is dynamic. If we’re not prepared for change, we cannot easily adapt to – let alone embrace – unknowns that lie ahead.
Overcoming the change challenge
Few people are wired to view change as an adventure.
When people with limited skills face great challenges, their anxiety levels are high. Conversely, when extremely skilled people face a little challenge, their boredom sets in. Becoming more skillful helps overcome the challenge of change but, shifting one’s mindset to view change as embarking on a new adventure eases anxiety surrounding change.
“Without change, there is no innovation, creativity, or incentive for improvement. Those who initiate change will have a better opportunity to manage the change that is inevitable.” William Pollard
Fortunately, social connections help us navigate change. Friends and co-workers can help us maintain our resolve and hold us accountable for our outcomes, thus improving our focus on change as well as our ability to overcome it.
Resolve to be different
From my perspective, resolving to be different means committing to experimentation, being willing to suffer the discomfort of change, to speak up, to take ownership, to challenge the status quo, to achieve better outcomes and to embrace creativity.
“Creativity is intelligence having fun.” Albert Einstein
And so much of that is imperative for business success. A study conducted by Forrester Research for Adobe concluded:
- Companies that foster creativity achieve better revenue growth. 58 percent of creative companies posted double-digit year-over-year (YOY) revenues – something only 20 percent of less creative companies achieved.
- Creative companies have higher market shares.
- Creative companies foster a work environment that leads to high performance.
- Creative companies beat less creative ones by a three-to-one ratio when it comes to grabbing national attention, such as winning awards.
Most importantly, we must recognize that willingness to change and embrace creativity is a shared responsibility between employees and their organizations. Employers must reward creativity in the workplace in order to achieve its payoff. That means:
- Including business goals around creative outcomes
- Collaborating with customers
- Employing executives who are willing to give new ideas priority and funding
To crush the status quo, we must resolve to be different and disrupt ourselves.