Shake Things Up – Change the Way You Think

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The current trendy term about shaking things up in a business or industry is “disrupt”. However that is a completely negative connotation and does not offer positive traits, only an interruption or tear down. Being disruptive, may be good, but only if you have renewed inspiration and the sway of unspoiled new goals to replace that path you have just torn up with your disruptive thinking.

It reminds me of Flash Gordon’s distruptor beam weapon…the stuff of classic science fiction. Pull out your beam gun and fire away. Yes, it tears stuff apart, but leaves one with a big hole in the wall to repair.

Unless you have a patch for that wall, you always have that big hole your distruptor created. That’s not good. You have to carry a secondary plan to repair, rebuild and move forward. Lot’s of people think that have that nailed down, but not really. Know this—embracing the novelty of infinite possibilities brings with it a requirement of an equally pioneering mindset. The willingness to explore uncharted territories requires a bit of old-fashion moxie and some outside-the-box thinking. It’s for these reasons words like courage, audacity and yes — disruption, immediately come to mind.

We are going to explore 5 methods to change the way you think. Yes you can try this at home or office. But, stick with it and maintain the change. don’t regress back those old ways. We will cover just one item today and follow up with the remainder as the week progresses.

But it’s the last of those three that really sticks out.

Here’s why: People who challenge themselves by setting and achieving goals don’t dwell inside comfort zones. That they can avoid the pain of rejection and failure is of little value. They think and act differently and find comfort in being uncomfortable—all of which helps them to jettison the status quo in uniquely satisfying ways.

If you want to achieve your most coveted goals this year, you’re going to have to shake things up by changing the way you think: Enter disruptive thought.

But what makes thinking disruptive? In an article on Forbes.com, Lisa Bodell, CEO of futurethink, advises that it’s characterized by a line of questioning that awakens the mind, rather than puts it to sleep. These questions “usually begin with ‘how,’ ‘which,’ ‘why’ or ‘if’ and are specific without limiting imagination,” she says. “They focus on generating solutions rather than begging long-winded explanations and place blame, as often-asked ‘close-ended’ questions always do.” For example, traditional, linear thought would easily lead to this question: “Who has an idea for improving our product/service?”

Disruptive thinking, however, would go something like this: “If we hosted a forum called ‘How Our Products & Services Suck,’ what topics would be on the main stage?” An equally effective version is “Which two things could our competitors do to render our product/services irrelevant?”

Make sense? It’s the powerfully divergent shift in perspective that makes this process so effective.

If you want to overcome barriers to reaching your goals this year, saddle up and learn to harness the power of disruptive thinking.

Here’s how:

1. Challenge the status quo.

Being a team player is commendable and exercising diplomacy—admirable, but simply going along to get along is an ineffective strategy that often compromises values, relationships and in many cases, the bottom line. Don’t be afraid to question institutional memory, so-called best practices or decisions that appear problematic. Sure, it takes courage, open-mindedness and a desire to achieve the best result, but the rewards can be pretty significant. By choosing to “color outside the lines” so-to-speak, you can transform the proverbial landscape. If in doubt, ask: “What if bucking the system meant resolve, not just for me, but for others whose voices may be muted?”

Yes, there is a lot to think about there. I will be bringing along more thoughts on this second part here.

In the meantime, think positive far more that you think disruptive.

To Your Success…

Scott Ringwelski

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