Change is the Essence of Growth

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A note today about change.

Change is the essence of growth. To not change – that is truly destructive. Change means we are fresh, focussing tighter. Something that Julien Smith spoke about on his blog recently too.

Of course, the typically participator at this blog is someone who is changing regularly. My question then is how do we change?

As you know, I’m a stickler for a good framework. I need a model or process that I can repeat. So I wonder what we are doing to regularly change – is change something that we are intuiting or do some people have a structured approach?

Perhaps the best book I’ve read on this recently, and one of the best altogether, is Switch by Chip and Dan Heath (affiliate link). This book was doing the rounds, so I jumped on the bandwagon and was not disappointed.

They have three key points: Direct the rider (decision making), motivate the elephant (emotional motivation), shape the path (situational optimisation).

I’m starting to use this (and their sub points they have too – best if you buy the book and read) and it’s proving quite useful. I’ve been doing these three for years, but now I am more clearly understanding the why of why I do them, and can better direct, motivate and shape myself!

Your Leading Thoughts

  • Do you have a relentless pursuit for something ‘more’ that requires to change often? What does this look like? Why change?
  • Does your frequent change mean you often leave things unfinished?
  • How do you change? As in – how do you do the process of change?

Photo courtesy of AndYaDontStop

Archived Comments

  • http://www.twitter.com/barryfurby @barryfurby

    Interesting post Scott, I think in an ever evolving and fast paced world we need structure and processes to follow. The value comes in evaluating those processes against what we learn by carrying them out everyday.

    ps. Thanks for the link, I just bought Switch and will circle back when I’ve got through it

    :)

  • http://radsmarts.com Robin Dickinson

    Quick note for context:

    A VALUE-based business strategy depends on providing unrelenting value for a defined, core group of mutual salespeople (i.e. we support and promote each others businesses).

    *The* key success factor in this model is relevance. Oxygenic relevance is achieved by continually adapting your offering (e.g. product/service bundle) to the changing micro & macro needs and wants of the mutual sales team. It’s ALL about changing. Changing IS the way.

    Answers to Scott’s questions:

    * Do you have a relentless pursuit for something ‘more’ that requires to change often? What does this look like? Why change?

    Yes – ‘ever more’ relevance for mutual salespeople. Become irreplaceable (oxygenic).

    * Does your frequent change mean you often leave things unfinished?

    No. Change without completion is for followers, not leaders.

    * How do you change? As in – how do you do the process of change?

    a) Develop a heightened awareness of people’s hierarchy of needs & micro/macro changes;
    b) Respond immediately to changes in their hierarchy – deliver value rather than plan to deliver;
    c) Have a strong NO to the irrelevant aspects of value hierarchy – chop the dead wood;
    d) Continually test and check for the relevance of your offering.

    Best, Robin

    :)

  • stepbate

    Switch methodology sounds good – I will check it out
    I am fascinated by the process of change too and agree that a framework that has proof of concept and that is repeatable will help ensure results every time
    For focus in business and leading change to be better than good i.e great – I fully endorse Jim Collins and his Hedgehog framework
    For more personal change and finding direction (the approach works for business too) I am using the framework in Smart Choices A Practical Guide to Making Better Decisions by authors John S Hammond, Ralph L Keeney, Howard Raiffa
    Both have extensive write ups and comments on Amazon (where else?)
    Trust helpful – off to see the Chiropractic

  • / Scott Gould

    Switch is very good Barry. It’s very simple, yet has profound depth to it. My concern now is, having read it, how am I implementing it?

    I am good at creating frameworks – but do I implement them in my own life?!

  • http://www.rosagarriga.net Rosa Garriga

    Hello Scott,
    That change today is more important than ever is a no-brainer. And to be honest, even though I’m a Generation Yer, sometimes the pace is overwhelming!!
    For me a book that I’ve found really useful in understanding change is the famous ‘who moved my cheese?’ yes it looks like a book written for a 5-year-old kid but IMO the message is so true, powerful and sticky. I think I mainly change when I see that a situation is not working, and sometimes that might mean leaving some things unfinished but that’s only because I’ll use that time in a most efficient way!

  • / Scott Gould

    Robin

    This is SO good – *again* – pure gold.

    So let me try to make an insight here. Because you are value based and not volume based, there’s less “stuff”, so it’s easier to make a change in your life, right?

    The tip to them change immediately is a powerful one – this calls for a good daily routine, no?

    Scott

  • / Scott Gould

    Hey Stephen

    I haven’t read about the hedgehog framework – I’ll investiage now.

    Would you highly recommend “Smart Choices”?

    Scott

  • / Scott Gould

    So, tough question: how do you go from reading or seeing something that you should change, to changing *and* maintaining it?

    Scott

  • scottstafstrom

    I put no structure around the ‘art’ that I create. I think the creation process has so many twists and turns that a structure to lead change could dampen the process or accelerate it outside of its natural progression. I am not sure that it is ‘art’ anymore if it is not by its creation changing or seeking change.

    The business of what I do with the art does need a structure for change and the biggest component of that structure is information gathering. By listening, reading and communicating in general I have the information to move quickly in the direction of a new opportunity. The information is the motivator for me and the path is shaped by feedback and new information along the way.

    I have many unfinished ‘art’ pieces but not too many unfinished business of ‘art’ plans.

    :)

  • stepbate

    Can I save my rating of Smart Choices until after the summer? My process with Anne (my hottie!) is to use the framework the authors advocate to help us with a major and very complex decision – so far the approach really helps pin down the decision making problem but that is just the tip of the iceberg – if I don’t get back to you prompt me 2nd week in May

    Otherwise there is a really smart guy at Exec Uni I recommended to Drew for the LM’s creativity conf. I found his framework for innovation had a genuine link with the essence of growth

  • / Scott Gould

    Hey Scott

    Ok – so am I right in thinking that by talking and discussing change, it becomes more a part of your life because you are mentally aware of what you should be changing?

    It would help if you could flesh out your thinking a bit more

    Scott

  • / Scott Gould

    Who is the guy at Exeter Uni – John Bessant?

  • stepbate

    That’s him

  • stepbate

    Oh since Who moved my cheese was mentioned another great parody is Gung Ho! Blew me away

  • / Scott Gould

    Ok, cool! Thanks Stephen

  • scottstafstrom

    To delve deeper, yes you are right. To go outside of my industry for another example, I like Zappos’ second core value: Embrace and Drive Change. The word embrace suggests not only that you are ready for change but you look forward to it. ‘Drive’ to Zappos means that although change can come from any direction, it should be driven from the bottom up, from the people closest to the customer. In my very small business I am on the front lines with my customers so yes I am mentally aware of what needs to change.

    So the short answer is I try to embrace the changes that are occurring in my industry and this knowledge alone drives me to implement any changes that can positively affect my front line customers because I am interacting with them every day. As Zappos would say I want to ‘deliver happiness’. (Cheesy yes, effective YES!)

  • http://radsmarts.com Robin Dickinson

    The VALUE strategy is so powerful because it leaves you resources-rich – especially in terms of time. You have the time to implement steps A > D above, and hence develop even stronger bonds with your mutual sales team.

    A VOLUME strategy doesn’t have the time – it is literally a numbers game – big front door, even bigger back door. Churn and burn. Attract the many to convert the few. The ongoing question is “How can I boost my numbers, followers, views, subscriptions etc?”

    Routines and scheduling, GTD and prioritizing become critical for VOLUME players because the days are so busy – exhaustively busy. Less so for VALUE players because the vast majority of your time is dedicated to creating value (no need to schedule because it’s what you spend the majority of your time doing).

    That’s why I have the time to be here writing on your blog, contributing what I aim to be increasingly relevant input for you (and your team).

    Make sense?

    Robin

    :)

  • http://www.experienceengineer.com/ Erik Posthuma

    Great post, I especially like the question at the end: “Does your frequent change mean you often leave things unfinished?”

    My initial response was, is this necessarily bad? I work with many projects that are constantly changing. I have an ever growing task list which I work away at. The less important less urgent tasks are pushed down the list and as time goes on they are re-evaluated, erased off the list completely. These tasks should have never gotten on that list at all, and sometimes time is the only way to tell.

    Thank you o whirlwind of change that reduces my task list.

  • / Scott Gould

    Erik – this is *very* true, and I was wondering when someone was going to mention it.

    There is a certain benefit of change that it cuts stuff out because they fall off the list.

    I presume you use GTD?

  • / Scott Gould

    Scott, thanks for this. Looking at it as Embrace and Drive Change is very helpful.

    So, do you sit down every night and plan how you’re going to change? Or is it a fluid art?

    Scott

  • / Scott Gould

    This is where I want to be Robin.

    I am so tired of having packed days – there’s little left to really put into relationship, etc.

    We’ve discussed this before, and about being resource poor because we’re so overburdened.

    I’m getting better with my NO!

    Scott

  • RYan_2

    Don’t be afraid to switch away from your original core business when the revenue starts to tank. Unlike what Jim Collins preaches in his books, Adam Hartung has proof there is a different approach

    http://bit.ly/dwdZ15

  • / Scott Gould

    Thanks for sharing the link, Ryan, I’m checking it out now!

    Scott

  • http://www.experienceengineer.com/ Erik Posthuma

    My personalized version of GTD, yes. Good stuff Scott, tell me when you’re in Asia.

  • scottstafstrom

    Very fluid on the art side… very much a yellow pad plan on the business side, not every night but frequently.

  • / Scott Gould

    Oh, I will!

    Unless, you want to invite us over to do Like Minds sometime?

    :-)

  • / Scott Gould

    LOL – good quote there Scott!

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