I'm definitely a creature of habit. I ride my bike — on the exact same route — every Saturday and Sunday when The Weather Channel "Feels Like" temperature is above 40 and the roads are clear. It's a good route and it ends with a big hill on a country road appropriately named "Observatory" for the view from the top. But often times I find I'm halfway back and realize I haven't really looked around much or even noticed that I'm out riding. I guess that's what happens when you’ve ridden the same route hundreds of times.
Today I was five minutes into my ride and my front derailleur broke, so I couldn’t shift into my big chain ring and was stuck on the small/easy one. This meant that on any flat roads (and definitely any down hills) I ran out of gears and had to coast. I instantly surmised this was going to be a very frustrating ride and unproductive from a fitness standpoint. I could have turned back, but that’s not in my nature, so I begrudgingly just kept going. Then after just a few minutes I realized what I needed to do – HILLS!
I could charge up the hills and coast down and still get a decent work out. I quickly veered off my normal course to ride up a road that had a pretty good size hill on it. Then veered off into the neighborhood I hadn't seen before and checked it out since I didn't really have a route I was trying to follow. That was kind of a fun diversion, so I went back to looking for hills.
This led me to an awesome farm road that I had never been on before. After a while on that road, I thought I was getting a little bit lost when I came into the back of a residential development that I had never been in before, but eventually I was able to figure out where I was. It was interesting checking out that subdivision, and then I was back onto more hills on my way home.
This was by far the most interesting ride I've had all year. And as I was climbing the final hill close to home, my legs were really burning from all the hill intervals I had done throughout the ride, so it also ended up being the most productive ride of the year so far from an exercise perspective.
What caused this great ride? Change. The change in my routine made it interesting, and the change in exercise method stimulated fitness growth.
It's the same with the change in a business.
Our company has had some recent retirements, and the addition of new people with new ideas will help us change and grow. We are also undertaking some pretty significant change in our organizational structure and processes. I'm very excited about this change as I believe it will create growth in our organization.
We have a foundational document — our "Statement of Beliefs" — which defines our core values and beliefs that we feel are critical to our company’s success. Statement number 26 (there’s only 28 total, in case you’re wondering) says, in part: “Recognize that change is inevitable and it is the manner by which we stay ahead of our competitors.”
So as I think about change, my new commitment to myself is that at least one weekend day I will ride a new route. And my proclamation is “change is good!” If you have the opportunity to create positive change in your organization, do it. If change is happening in your organization don't fight it, don't even just live with it, embrace it!
Organizationally, if your business embraces change it will grow. When change is happening it will feel challenging and you may feel like you're getting a little lost at times, but that's what makes it interesting and that's what stimulates growth for you and your organization. So embrace the opportunity!