So when was the last time you did something for the first time?

March 4, 2016

The fixed mindset traps people in the status quo            

 

 

 

A couple of days ago I entered into my first Fiverr gig and that resulted in the logo that you now see at the top of this page - the multicoloured G. I am not here to sell for Fiverr but I can recall the days when I had to engage a designer and pay a lot for something so simple, and then get the result one month later! But not with Fiverr! All it took was $5 and 2 days! That's it! What a breeze - fast and affordable! 

 

The point is, if I had not taken the step to simply try them out, I would not have discovered how simple, fast and cost-effective this service is. And there are so many more of such solutions out there! Imagine what would happen if we constantly refused to seek out new ways, preferring to be locked into the old ways of doing things. Let's see an example of this at the workplace...

 

I remember a company that I had previously done some work with. Their CRM system was so old, they still needed to encode it whenever they needed to add a new field! And that would take them a minimum of one day! And the system's process of managing information was so complicated that getting a custom report took more than 50 clicks, and 2 hours of manual manipulation. In today's day and age, this is not acceptable. But that company still happily chugged along, oblivious of the devastating impact this system has on productivity. It is no wonder that its net profit margin is less than 5 percent!

 

So why do people accept such archaic processes and systems? Well, they are basically afraid of trying something new; that is the fixed mindset rearing its ugly head again! Here are some reasons for being locked in to the fixed mindset:

 

1. If it ain't broke...

These people prefer to squeeze water from rock rather than to go dig a new well! Their mantra is, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." They fail to see that even if the front end of the system were not broken, it didn't mean that the rear end was not crumbling! 

 

2. We've always done it that way

Another favourite saying of the fixed mindset boss is, "We've always done it this way." Many a times, this comes at the back of the previous statement. This mindset puts too much emphasis on the past, without any regard for what is the new standard of the present. True, the work does get done, but at what cost? Most fixed mindset people fail to see the hidden costs that their archaic processes have on the business.

 

3. Can you guarantee that it will work?

Fixed mindset bosses will not try something new because they cannot accept the variability of the outcome. They will ask something like, "So, can you guarantee me that it will work?" The fact that there are no guarantees even in a guarantee, how can anyone guarantee what we don't know. But if that lack of guarantee was holding us back from going forward, from doing something for the first time, then we will not be having new experiences, new discoveries, and a larger repertoire.

 

The fixed mindset traps people in the status quo and that has a false sense of security. After all, they are in a situation where the outcome is pretty much certain, the process predictable, the uncertainty absent. But you get locked in to things that may no longer work.

 

So it is timely for us to ask, "When was the last time you did something for the first time?" Why not start right now?

 

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