Tadd and I have experienced a lot of change over the last three years in business as we have had to learn to run a business, increase our technical skills, and adapt to a rapidly changing industry. Consequently, we have had push ourselves to explore new opportunities, viewpoints, ideas and ways of doing things. In other words, we are constantly working to increase our Capacity for Change.
There is no shortage of brilliant ideas. However, successful implementation is rare. Implementation faces many barriers to success, which include, but are not limited to: politics, complexity, budget constraints, and counter productive habits. However we have found that the most common barrier successful implementation of a brilliant idea are individuals' capacity for change. Typically, capacity for change is a function of creativity, resources, intelligence, education, flexibility, values, risk tolerance and beliefs.
Tadd and I have tried to increased our capacity for change by:
- Being Patient: Successful implementation doesn’t happen over night. It takes time, and sometimes years. We learned that if our goals were constantly changing we would never be able to accomplish any of them. Now when making goals we try to take a Long-range Focus and set goals carefully and accept that it might take a couple years to accomplish our goal. While we try to have patience we also are constantly looking for incremental progress towards our goals.
- Make Space: We have reduced the clutter and commitments so that we can make space for new things. Right now we make space by setting aside time during Saturdays and holidays to explore and implement new ideas. We also try to systemize as much as we can so that we don’t continually have to do the same things over and over, and instead spend our time implementing new ideas.
- Develop Horizontal Friendships: Everyone needs best friends. However, having a large number of horizontal friendships can also be valuable. Horizontal friendships are friendships with people that you wouldn’t be friends with naturally. Horizontal friends typically have different interests, lifestyles and personalities. If you spend time with these people they will increase your capacity for change by introducing you to new ideas, products and people outside your normal sphere of influence.
- Stumble Upon Ideas: Some of the best advice I ever got was to just read everything I can, and not worry about retaining what I read. This sounds counter intuitive, but my mentor explained that I should make it a habit of stumbling upon knowledge. Everyday I try to scan Twitter and LinkedIn for interesting articles or ideas. Weekly I try to spend time reading a biography, a business book and a technical journal. I don’t care about when I finish, but only that I expose my self to the opportunity to learn something.