The status quo forms when people get comfortable. Comfortable with their jobs. Comfortable with their salary. Comfortable with their role. Comfortable with their commute. Comfortable making mortgage repayments. Comfortable being on auto pilot.
It’s not that they don’t want change
They might do. There might be a few things about the job or the company that they don’t particularly like. They might not enjoy the long sign-off process. They might not be crazy about busy conference calls. They might not particularly care for the latest product release or not be a hardcore fan of the companies culture.
But just because they want change and innovation, that doesn’t mean they care enough to do anything about it. Just because they don’t like some things, doesn’t mean they’d have it any different, especially if it means creating more work for themselves to change it.
More work means you’re busy. If you’re busy, you need to get things done. If you’re getting things done, you’re working hard. If you’re working hard, you’re no longer on auto pilot and you’re no longer comfortable.
So they’re up for change…
… just as long as they aren’t responsible for it. They’re as game as a badger, as long as it doesn’t effect them too much. So they’re raring to go, as long as nothing actually changes. That about as much makes sense sentence as this.
It’s no wonder why change is so hard. These comfort-seeking, status quo-forming followers, through no conscious fault of their own, play it far too safe. They’re scared to put their neck on the line, so they’ll never try anything too drastic or risky or different in case it doesn’t work. What if they fail? Or make a fool of themselves? Or even get sacked? And they don’t have the balls to stand up for what they believe in or fight their corner, so they’ll never build anything with purpose or passion or realise their ideas. What if they offend their colleagues? Or piss off their boss? Or make a few enemies?
But if change isn’t drastic or risky or different…
… then it’s not really fuckin change is it? Just because you cock something up, that doesn’t mean you’re going to get given your marching orders. And how can you look like a fool for being brave enough, ambitious enough, willing enough and caring enough to try something new to help the business, and everyone involved in it, do better, achieve more and be successful?
Succeed or fail, the real people that make a fool of themselves day-in, day-out, are the replaceable, arse-kissing pencil-pushers that come in, sit down, shut up, crack on and go home without any fucker even noticing they clocked-on.
So here’s 7 ways you can break the status quo and start making a change in your company:
Speak up when you don’t like something and care enough to do something about it. If you’re passionate enough and your willing to do the work required, you can make changes and inspire others to do the same.
Believe in yourself. Believe in your ideas. Believe in your cause. Stand up and fight your corner. That’s the only way you’ll convince people to jump on board and help you implement your ideas.
3. Have a purpose.
If you and your ideas have a purpose, then there’s a reason beyond finances. And if there’s a reason beyond finances, then it has more of a chance of motivating people and encouraging a following. The business may well have finances at its core, but people are inspired and motivated by more than just their pay cheque. Deep down, we’ll all sooner fight for a cause than for a wage.
4. Don’t be scared of criticism.
Those that criticise you either challenge you and force you to prove yourself or show you that you’re onto something that people care about… at least enough to criticise. You can’t have success without it. So seek criticism because that’s how you’ll know you’re making noise and you’re on the way to change.
5. Take risks.
Worried about failing? Good. That’s part of the risk and is the reason why most people don’t even bother trying. Don’t be one of those people. You’re far better off trying and failing than not trying at all, so you may as well give it a go.
6. Don’t think your job depends on it.
You’re paid to think. You’re paid to have an impact and make a difference, so start doing so. Any company that would sack someone for doing their absolute upmost to improve things, you’re better off without.
7. Stop people-pleasing.
If you go around people-pleasing your way through life, you’ll bend over backwards to accommodate everyone’s point of view into every idea you have. You’ll end up with diluted, flimsy, overdone, complacent and average mush that lacks direction, focus and impact. You’ll stop creating game-changing, status quo-challenging stuff and start creating people-pleasing norm-propping poo. The second you start people-pleasing, you start upholding mediocracy and propping up the status quo. (If you find yourself doing that, I think you should read this article again)
Playing it safe isn’t safe any more
When times are hard, the first thing people worry about is cuts isn’t it? So who will your company cut or replace first? The ones that stand up, voice their opinion, get things done, are positive about change and make a difference? The ones with passion and drive and determination for innovation that show the above traits? Or the ones that are quite comfortable and content with how things are and don’t really want to put in more effort than they have to, especially when it comes to something they don’t really care too much about or not enough to get off their arse and alter?
So who’s going to innovate at your company? You? You might be the only chance it has.