4 Best Practices to Break through Comfort Zones
My wife relentlessly enters HGTV’s home giveaways. In fact, she registers under five different e-mail accounts daily, dedicated to making her dream of living in a beautiful, gorgeously designed home.
Think about this. Who among us would have envisioned 10 years ago of (1) a 24/7 cable TV channel dedicated to gardening and home improvement would (2) generate 40+ million online registrations for (3) a new home giveaway? That a channel such as HGTV even exists is a testimony to the willingness of TV executives to get out of their comfort zones.
Rather than settle for yet more generic dramas, game shows, and situation comedies, they blew away the status quo and took control of their future.
Here are four powerful guidelines that can help you and your management teams to break through your comfort zones and into your future.
1. Challenge Core Assumptions. During my strategic planning sessions with executive teams, I ask three important questions: What business are you in? What business should you be in? What business should you not be in? Challenge yourself and your team to objectively look at where you need to be a player and where you should never be a player. Through careful strategic assessment that challenges core assumptions, you can pragmatically break through comfort zones.
2. Think Beyond Your Walls. It is so easy for us to drive to offices and see the world only through our interior walls. Sam Walton spent as much time in other retail and service shops as he did in Walmarts, simply to learn fresh ideas and approaches, spot trends, and discover areas he needed to consider. I encourage you to get out of your office and look at your community with fresh eyes to seek untapped areas for your services and products.
3. Integrate Opportunities Management. Business guru Peter Drucker taught that the important thing is to identify the “future that has already happened.” He challenged businesses to look where they are getting unexpectedly good results, then focus 20% of their companies’ time, people, and resources into exploring growing these areas. He called this “opportunities management,” investing in the future you have already experienced.
4. Choose the Future. In today’s market, you must invent your future rather than redesign your past. We have nowhere else to look but the future. Even from the bottom of the barrel, the future looks as exciting as it does frightening. Regardless, we are marching into the future, and the future will win.
When you embrace these four best practices, you will break through your current comfort zones into an incredible future for yourself, your company, and your customers.