Make It Happen
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Habit

DOS, Windows, and Mac OS are all names of computer operating systems. They control the computer chips, memory, and give the computer its unique personality. While we are certainly not computers, we too are controlled by a system: a Brain Operating System.

Our BOS has a tremendous autopilot system: without even thinking, our heart pumps, our lungs breathe, and our eyelids blink. Our conscious minds do this automatically too: we go into “autopilot” when we drive home. We have our coffee at the same time each day… and get it from the same coffee shop.

At work, it is too easy to let more important activities – ones that need your brain – slip into autopilot. When this happens, initiative, innovation, and impact all suffer. Even worse, we sometimes put our personal relationships on autopilot, and begin to take other people for granted. Unfortunately, the “habit” of autopilot is one we get better at with practice.

Autopilot is a double-edged sword: it gives us a mental break from the repetitive, but at the risk of automating things that really do need our attention. Particularly at times of significant change, we need to know when to turn off the autopilot.

This week’s action item: Take one day this week, and upgrade your Brain Operating System by avoiding autopilot behavior. Take a different route to work, surprise your colleagues with recognition, and approach your “usual” tasks in an unusual way. Not only will you see things differently, others will see you differently too.

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to www.RandallCraig.com to register.

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)
www.RandallCraig.com

www.108ideaspace
.com
www.ProfessionallySpeakingTV.com

The Corporate Work-out?

by Randall Craig on January 9, 2007

Filed in: Blog, Strategy

Tagged as: , ,

I was remarking the other day how crowded my fitness club was, and I was reminded about the semi-annual migration that tends to happen just after the holiday season, and just before the bathing suit one. For those who have figured out how to embed fitness into their weekly routines, the migration (and the crowds) are more an annoyance than anything else.

Research suggests that it takes 21 repetitions before an activity becomes habit. So after 7 weeks of working out 3 times weekly, presumably you will continue working out in the future. The question that I am pondering has to do with corporate habits – or rather, corporate culture. How can we short-cut these 21 repetitions if we wish to change a corporate culture?
Some ideas so far:

– Communications strategy
– Tone from the top
– Company-wide Kick-offs and town-hall meetings
– Reward system for proper behavior and attitude
– Bona fide career development, not just job evaluation
– Loosened policies to empower thinking
– Rebranding (and most importantly, building the brand below the logo)
– Use of new technology to encourage change (wiki’s, discussion boards, etc.)

What else should go on this list?

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to www.RandallCraig.com to register.

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)
www.RandallCraig.com

www.108ideaspace
.com
www.ProfessionallySpeakingTV.com