H = Habit
6am. Alarm goes off. Yawn. Stretch. Bathroom. Cold shower. Dress. Espresso. Getting ready to leave. Left turn at corner. Red light as always. Usual parking spot taken. Grunt. Morning to everyone. My desk. My screen. Same faces. Routine to-do-list. Lunch. Customers call. Discussion with superior. As predicted. Prepare to leave. Drive home. Some shopping. Run. Eat. Beer. TV. Bed. 6am. Alarm goes off. Yawn. Stretch…. and on it goes. The daily routine interwoven with a multitude of habits. Comforting. Reassuring. Stability providing. Useful.
Habit is the delegation of tasks to the unconscious. It makes everyday life easy. Science says: If the link between achieving an objective and a specific behavior has been successfully established many times, there is no need to reflect anymore. There is the learnt and assimilated fact that repetition gets me what I want in a satisfactory manner. So, I develop and cultivate this specific behavioral pattern and it becomes a habit.
The same happens to all of us. Our routine tasks are underlaid with habits. And then there is reality…….. . Companies kick start change initiative after change initiative. New challenges have to be met. Entrepreneurial thinking is required. Agility is a key competence and complexity has to be handled. How, if routine and habits provide comfort and stability? Is there enough brain power left for reflection and reasoning? Are the methods needed to think what has not been thought, to discover what has not been known and to apply what has not been used so far? Is reflection adequately trained to be able to reflect on reflecting? And what does this mean?
Does this mean that within the comforting and necessary world of routine and habits the life spending law of transformation should be integrated? Does this mean that environmental stimuli have to be provided to counterbalance placid patterns? And would these stimuli have to be connected to a person’s set of desired objectives and goals? How would things look if new-behavior-demanding stimuli were to be part of everyday life? Might then anticipation, excitement and surprise enter an organization? Might the joy of discovery, the joy of thinking and reflecting become a productive and refreshing habit around which ever new approaches are learnt and designed. Would that be a desirable experience? There are organizations out there, that write things on their walls like: be different, be creative, excel yourself, tomorrow starts now, imagine if ….. . Good. Resonates with me. Yet since it is necessary to write it in big letters on the walls it might not be an integral part of people walking past. Maybe an organization would have to create concepts to live these claims. Maybe an organization decides to deliver surprises and stimuli again and again. And if done so successfully, maybe people’s experiences foster the fading of routine and habit in the workplace. And maybe as a last consequence people would then deliver experiences that enrich the organizational environment and entrepreneurial purpose. How would that be? Happy to talk.