COVID Changed Everything: Why are Paradigm Shifts Important?
If you’ve ever heard the expression, “perception is reality,” you may understand that how we perceive things around us influences how we react. Our perspective and beliefs on the world colors all aspects of our lives, including our business. So, if we look at things that dictate how we react, why aren’t people open to viewing situations from the other side? And why is looking at things from all angles so crucial to creating paradigm shifts and new thought processes?
COVID changed everything. It created a pause, a reset, and now a shift. This reset gave business owners and leaders a chance to deconstruct how business is handled and the opportunity to rebuild these processes with a new perspective - one of resilience and adaptability for the future.
One of my favorite peer groups participates in what we call, “Flip It, Frame It.” We take a business challenge and flip it to ask, “What do we want to happen?” Then, we frame a solution that focuses on what we want to happen, not on what is happening. This is an example of how we can leverage a paradigm shift that creates the results we desire.
Taking this idea deeper, here are some reasons why paradigm shifts are essential to your business success.
1. Things Become Outdated
One of the main reasons we don’t take the time to change our perspective is comfort. We assume that if it doesn’t appear broken, then it isn’t, and there is no need to fix it. However, just because what we are doing is working doesn’t mean it is the best way to do it.
After all, if we never evolved and continued using horses and carriages rather than motor vehicles, we would have much less free time. If we still wrote letters using a typewriter instead of a computer, we would be much less productive. Both horses and carriages and typewriters got the job done, but they became outdated and inefficient. Even if things work, it doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement.
As technology evolves, the best course of action evolves. When it comes to your business, making changes - even small ones - can lead to significant differences.
2. Old Habits Die Hard (and can also be detrimental)
Have you ever asked a teammate or employee their rationale behind a particular decision or judgment? And heard a response to the tune of, “This is the way we’ve always done it?” I am guilty of hearing and using this excuse.
There is no doubt that we are creatures of habit. But while habits create comfort in the predictability of outcomes, sometimes the best-intended habits can cripple your business.
Consider the following:
How do you negate a habitual workflow?
How do you ensure innovation and creativity are offered to your teams in the way they interact?
How do you know which strategic partners can bring value and which will hold you back?
How do you know if you are stuck in business habits that no longer serve your organization?
A step toward evolving habits and taking on a growth-oriented mindset and culture is to ask for feedback and then listen. It’s important to hear and see how preferences and behaviors affect your organization and the bottom line. Habits, like processes, can be qualified and then quantified to ensure you are on the cutting edge of collective perspectives so new paradigms can emerge.
3. Growing Beyond your Circle of Influence
“If you're the smartest person in the room, you're in the wrong room.” - Unknown
We need new experiences, expertise, thought processes, and ways to do things. This is true in our personal lives and business, and it is how we grow.
How we use our skills to interact with the players in our lives is known. For instance, you wouldn’t go to a doctor to learn how to bake, and you wouldn’t go to a baker to learn about medicine.
So how can you use this knowledge to grow your business? You need to try many different “rooms” before you can find one that challenges your habits and paradigms. Educate yourself first. Then when you get to a circle you envision will help you grow, you will be more likely to trust your intuition. Find ways to challenge yourself and be challenged by your teammates and strategic partners.
The Victory Paradigm Shift
One of the most important growth moments in my career occurred when I allowed an internal paradigm change around logistics.
Victory Supply Chain Services was founded and built with a completely different notion from traditional decades-old ideals in the transportation industry. We wanted to do and provide something different. We asked ourselves, “what is the existing greatness about the supply chain, and what do we want to change?”
No one would have thought we could bring free sophisticated solutions for our customers. But we saw the opportunity, and we were able to frame it using our end goal. This is how we created our unique “healthy supply chain” philosophy.
Embrace the Shift
Welcome a paradigm shift. Stay current, question your mindset, and encourage others to challenge your ways. Once you embrace these opportunities, you will begin to see things from a new, exciting perspective.