Change Management Training Step 7: Operate at the 4th Level of Change

Accept The Risks Of A Pioneer

Our current work habits produce weaker results as circumstances change. The more rapid the change, and the more radical the shift, the sooner our usual approaches lose their punch.

So we have to choose between two risks. First, we can gamble on our old habits, and watch our career skills gradually grow obsolete. Or we can accept the risks of the pioneer. The inventor. The explorer. The greater safety lies in choosing this second risk, even though it feels more chancy than the first.

The main point we must realize, though, is that we can’t escape the risking. Basically, it comes down to placing our bets on one career game plan or the other. We can rely on defense, hanging onto our old habits and hoping they’ll protect our employment. Or we can count on offense, and attack the new challenges coming at us. It’s our choice.

But you need to know that in a world of accelerating change, offense wins.

Organizations are looking for employees who will embrace the future rather than try to protect the past. They want people who are curious, willing to experiment, and who contribute to the company’s creative potential. Innovation is more important than it’s ever been, and you grow in value if you add to your company’s discovery process.

This means you need to bring some imagination to work every day. Get original. It helps if you operate with a certain distrust of comfortable routine. If you’re a bit intolerant of the tried and true. If you explore the possibilities outside of standard operating procedures.

So loosen up. Scout around beyond the boundaries of the way you’ve been doing things. Look at your job from fresh angles. To say it another way, you should do a little “research and development” of your own. Try operating from a different perspective, and be a little off-beat in the way you go about it all. The idea is to move beyond the comfort zone of your old work habits.

Part of everybody’s job now is to come up with new ideas. The payoff? Well, personal creativity makes you more change-adaptive as a person. You’ll find yourself becoming more solution-oriented and less problem-focused. Life feels better. Work is more fun, more energizing. And your career will likely move forward, instead of stalling out or going backward.

Sure, this pioneering mindset will produce a few more failures. You’ll try some things that don’t pan out. That’s fine. So long as you make only new mistakes, you’re learning. The important thing is to experiment, explore, and operate with a sense of adventure.

Change invites us into the unkown. Go there bravely, because it promises new possibilities and unseen opportunities.

"Space isn't remote at all. It's only an hour's drive away if your car could go straight up."  —Sir Fred Hoyle