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Tips & Lessons for 2022: resist the comfort of familiarity


When we join new companies (new departments, teams, office locations), we often bring curiosity in a way that might challenge the status quo. However, it is that "newness" that adds growth and we should go out of our way to welcome that.

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There's so much uncertainty in the world that I've been seeing more aversion to change than normal. And it makes sense to crave a sense of normalcy by holding on to historical ways of working. But that's why we need to fight extra hard to resist the comfort of what's familiar.

What do you think? Does that resonate with you?


I think there is a balance between challenging the status quo and trying to understand why things work the way they work. Also, it's known that one can't change a lot of things at once without a lot of resistance, so I find it important to start with observation and then introduce changes bit by bit. Some of them might take even several months.


Believe or not, but it took around half a year to start having agenda's for one of the meetings I was attending. I suggested it in the beginning, but was shut down / ignored. After talking with some attendees in private, it turned out that a few more didn't understand the relevance of the meetings and often zoned out. When more people started speaking up their mind, suddenly it had more value. And when finally we introduced agenda-full meetings, it wasn't me who started it - it was somebody else. I just planted the seed which took a while to grow and was waiting for the right time to do it.

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For sure, change takes tiiiiiiiime, @Anita Kalmane. So it should probably be said that welcoming change won't necessarily translate into immediate adoption.

Hi @Christine P_ Dela Rosa 

   I think that people by nature are reactive to change because of the fear of starting over, uncertainty, ignorance, but I think that starting a new job, company or relationship is wonderful, because it takes you out of your comfort zone, active to be attentive, to learn to give the best of yourself to face this new situation


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I agree. And it's the "fear" that makes it hard, and it's the "hard" that makes change great. 

Like Vero Rivas likes this

I love it when we get a new perspective in our team. We've been lucky enough to grow our team over the last couple years and have that "new set of eyes" has paid huge dividends. 

I'm a firm believer in hiring people better and smarter than yourself and then supporting them and getting out of their way! 

It's been an absolute joy to welcome people into our team that bring themselves to the table as well as their personal experience. I've loved when the questions of "Why do you do it this way?" have come up. We are a better team for it. If there's a better way to do something, do it!

Like Christine P_ Dela Rosa likes this

I totally agree. Sometimes, the new teammates surprise me in the way they see a process or spar on a concept. I forget what it's like to not have the same perspective over time and getting an outside force to shake things up is so welcome!

This is definitely interesting!

In my head by seeking discomfort you move fast, experience new things, adapt, and change.

By having comfort and familiarity you have a stable base on which you can build much larger and stronger and long-lasting things.

I believe there needs to be a balance but I'm personally definitely more inclined to "seeking discomfort". When I'm comfortable I get really nervous 😅

Like Christine P_ Dela Rosa likes this

In "Creativity Inc," the book about Pixar, they talk about "protecting the new." And how our default is to continue to keep doing what you've done before. That without trying, inertia will keep the old practices going. However, if you want to adopt something new, or at least give it a try, it takes extra effort to get that going.

In my head, "resisting the comfort in familiarity" is another way to say that we should resist complacency. Of course, if what's familiar is good, then keep that going, too. 

So to your point, @Nikki Zavadska _jexo_, it's a balance. Absolutely. But my $1.99 is that to get to a balance, you need to overcompensate on "the new" side. It's a good think your default is to be uncomfortable...super healthy!!!


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