We humans like our routines. I have many of my own that I follow day to day, week to week. One of the reasons 2020 has been so stressful is that our routines have been disrupted – often completely messed up. Covid has been the great disruptor, like a major life event – an accident, a fire, a death.
As this year winds down, I think many of us have adapted with new routines, and our stress levels are way down versus March and April. We may have even found that some good things have come from all this. Many businesses have recognized that at least some remote work can work perfectly well for a business. That could mean fewer cars on the road and less time commuting, which is a good thing for most employees.
As The Song Says…
There’s a great song by the band Mutemath, “Typical”, where the chorus is:
Cause I know there’s got to be another level
Somewhere closer to the other side
And I’m feelin’ like it’s now or never
Can I break the spell of the typical?
As business owners and managers, we can easily fall under the “spell of the typical,” including yours truly. Ours is very much a process business, and we find great comfort in rock solid processes as we handle our billing and payment duties. Processes are routines, and they keep us insulated from making mistakes. At Cornerstone, we love great process!
Process – Or Stuck in a Rut?
But following processes can sometimes make it harder to consider innovations, new ways of doing things. Business disruptors say “If it ain’t broke…break it!” Through history, some of the greatest artists completely broke the mold. Think – Picasso, who invented a completely new way of looking at the world.
The disruption caused by Covid 19 has both resulted in great damage to many businesses, and also brought about innovation and a new paradigm that will impact us for decades. We’ll see the blossoming of new businesses, and new ways of doing business. Like it or not, the disease broke the spell of the typical for many entrepreneurs. This dark episode in our history may very well have given birth to the next Amazon or Google…when we look back in 20 years, we’ll see that.
Re-inventing ourselves, or our businesses, is not easy because we get into our comfort zones. We are wired to develop and stick with our typical patterns. But without occasional re-invention, we risk going the way of Encyclopedia Brittanica or Kodak.
So as our routines have been messed up this year, it may be the ideal time to take stock of how we’re conducting our business. It may be a good time to shake things up. At our company, we’re making some big changes which we expect to be big improvements. There’s tons of cool technology we can take advantage of to create new products and services, and make our customers happier. In 2021, we’re definitely moving outside our comfort zone. That can, and should, be both a bit scary, and exciting – a bit of an adrenaline rush.
Time to Challenge Ourselves!
Great artists, great leaders, and great businesses nearly always break the mold. They take chances, they don’t play it safe. In December, at the end of this unsettling year, grasp that unsettled feeling, and turn it loose on changing your routines. Break the spell of the typical you’ll often find that makes you better, sharper, and drives solutions that set you apart.
All the best for an a-typical 2021!