In Search of Familiarity

One of my favorite Seth Godin pieces is on familiarity.


The definition of familiarity is, “the quality of being well known; recognizability based on long or close association.”


Seth explains the challenge we have is, “Most people have been trained to come to work in search of familiarity and competence. To work with familiar people, doing familiar tasks, getting familiar feedback from a familiar boss. Competence is rewarded.”


But what happens when we change things? What occurs when we roll out a new process or a new software? People rebel. I’m sure you’ve heard things like “this will never work” or “this is going to take twice as long as what we have been doing.”


Is this really what is happening or are they saying, “I am unfamiliar with this, and I feel incompetent right now.”


As leaders, we need to recognize that our organizations are filled with people eager to do what they did yesterday and things that they are familiar with.


No one likes change, but as I talked about in a previous Marty’s Minute, change isn’t the enemy, it’s your next opportunity.


If we can get our teams to embrace the unfamiliar, something special can happen in our organization.


Yes, change is unfamiliar. Yes, change creates incompetence. But if you recognize and address it, you can lead your teams to your next great opportunity.


Until next time…I’m Marty, make every minute count.


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