Credit for many of the ideas shared in this blog goes to Whitney Johnson. Johnson was interviewed for the January 2018 Insurance NewsNet Magazine. Her thoughts appear in an article called “The Success Curve of Disruption.”
Johnson states that one of the reasons it’s so hard for people to deal with disruption/change is because it seems very unpredictable at a very basic level. Johnson sites work done by Everett Rogers in 1962. Rogers created “the S-curve” to gauge how quickly an innovation would be adopted. Johnson believes that S-curve is valid today and has pointed out seven steps that anyone can take to deal successfully with change in our lives.
Here’s a brief comment on each of the seven steps:
- Take the right risks: This is an essential and fundamental step to mastering change.
- Play to your distinctive strengths: focus most of your time and energy on what you naturally do well that other people around you do not do well.
- Embrace constraints: people are successful not despite, but because of, their constraints. The law of physics says that we need friction. We must have friction to climb a mountain, to drive a car, and to climb the “S-Curve of Change”.
- Battle entitlement: rather than getting too comfortable with our current situation, a key question to ask ourselves is, “what could I be doing differently?” By doing, we choose to create necessary and desirable change in our lives.
- Step back to grow: Johnson suggests that “a way to get ourselves to step back to grow is to recognize that there really is no such thing as standing still. If we’re not moving forward, we’re actually moving backward.”
- Give failure its due: we must get rid of the shame that we sometimes feel when things don’t work out, because when we allow a mistake to become a referendum on us, our identity-the core of who we are-that’s when we lose. It’s the feeling of shame that limits change. Johnson suggests that “it’s shame that limits moving forward; it’s actually not failure.”
- Be discovery driven: this is the willingness to take a step forward, gather feedback, and adapt.
Now, for the good news… Johnson says that we do not need to master each one of these seven steps to be successful. Rather, she says discover which of the seven attributes/attitudes you do naturally and well. Then, “lean into using them when it comes to change.”
If you would enjoy knowing more about this topic, please consider Whitney Johnson’s book, Disrupt Yourself.
Barbara A. Culver
CFP®, ChFC®, CLU, AEP®