August 11, 2023


🙋🏻 Do you love status quo — things being the same? Or do you love change? How do you feel when you hear either one? 

For most of us, including myself, there's a spectrum to this and it also depends on context. But for today, consider this: what's your gut reaction? Status quo or change? You have one choice - which do you choose?

⚙️ For me, it's change hands down. Change is a breath of fresh air to me. It's wind in my sails. It's momentum. It's movement. It's alive. It's exciting. It's fresh. And, it's fun. Really fun. I'm always changing things, whether it's layouts in my home, my office, to an innovation training workshop I've done for years, to lighting, to even something as simple as my computer desktop wallpaper. I intentionally do this to remind myself that nothing needs to be the same and there's always more possibilities out there.

Change is as much a mindset as it is action. But, the thing with change is, it takes effort. It's easier to let things be, stay the same and be status quo.

In fact, we prefer it; it's why there's the status quo bias. In 1988, researchers William Samuelson and Richard Zeckhauser coined the term. They found people disproportionately stick with the status quo when it comes to important decision making. In other words, people are more likely to pick the option that maintains things as they are currently — the status quo.

It's why we have sayings like, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." If this is true, what can we do to overcome this? We innovate. We disrupt. We choose change.

When I talk innovation, I'm talking change. I define innovation like this: creating a new future. This means you're disrupting the status quo (aka the present, aka things being the same) and changing it to something YOU want to see happen and bringing it to life. 🌱 Isn't that exciting? 🙌🏻

Last weekend, I decided to change (aka. disrupt) my home. My wife and I have lived here for three years and the one room in my home I can't stand is our laundry room. It's always been a huge mess and yes, that was my doing. The laundry room became the catch all room for everything I didn't know what to do with - a dumping ground and unusable. Most the doors in the room were blocked by items and I was constantly moving them around when I needed to access cabinets or closets. It was a serious disaster.

Due to a lack of time, it was on the "to do list" for later. It felt like it would take so much time to change it, I left it the same. This summer, I finally had more time. My excuse was gone and it was GO time. I was beyond EXCITED. 

So off I went, making the changes I've always wanted. It took a LOT of work. I spent hours moving things around, throwing items away, moving furniture to other parts of the home, cleaning up those areas to make space for it... but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Because my laundry room has been the same for the past three years, my brain still expects it to be the same every single time I go in there. And every time I see it's not, my brain feels so refreshed. It's a breath of fresh air. My laundry room is a powerful reminder for my brain that I can always disrupt the status quo and create a new future. 

Changing your laundry room is innovation, Leo? I utilized an innovation mindset and skillset approach doing it. I defined the problem, dreamed up new solutions, prototyped the ideas, tested to see if it would work or not and finally, implemented it. It was a fast cycle of innovation mindset and skillset. I used observation, curiousity, a beginner's mindset and collaboration to create a new future

Now that we've talked about status quo, change, innovation and knowing that we prefer status quo, you may be wondering what you can do to be more innovative.

➡️ Here's five disruption tips that'll keep your brain healthy from being stuck in status quo:

  1. First, I want you to hear this clearly - NOTHING needs to stay the same. NOTHING. Unless you want it to. There are ALWAYS more possibilities out there than you've considered and if you choose to pursue it, you'll find them. This mindset alone will make a world of difference.
  2. Intentionally make change part of your routine, daily if possible. Change where you sit. Wear different clothes. Meet someone new. Listen to different music. Drive a new way to your normal destination. Eat something new. Find a new wallpaper for your phone or computer. I have coloured lights in my office that are constantly changing. It's refreshing. Seeing change happen regularly will remind you that nothing has to stay the same. 
  3. Determine what bothers you and CHANGE IT. What's something at your workplace that you'd like to be different? What really bugs you? Use this prompt. You have a magic wand 🪄 and can do anything you want to change it. What is that solution? Envision the new future, reverse engineer the steps you need to make it happen and then DO IT! 💡
  4. Look for things that have been the same around you for a long period of time (like my laundry room). Now ask yourself this: does this serve me well in its current state? Is this the best it could be? What other possibilities could exist? In a work context, is there a process you've been following or a procedure that could use an infusion of innovation? What would it look like if you thought differently about it? 
  5. Make time for change. In order to disrupt status quo, you need time. Change takes effort and effort needs time. Put time for disruption on your calendar regularly. Use a break or lunch break to think about how you can change the present. Remember, you have the opportunity to create a new future, to innovate!

How will you go about embracing change and disrupting status quo? What are your tips? Share with me and tell me in the comments. 

P.S. If your organization needs help to get past status quo and create disruption, please reach out. I'd love to help.

About the Author

Leo is a people and heart-first entrepreneur who believes everyone can be an innovator. An innovator himself, with 55 US patents and over 20 years of experience, Leo has come alongside organizations like Chick-fil-A and guided them to unleash the innovative potential of their employees by transforming them into confident innovators.

Leo’s friendly, joyful and enthusiastic demeanour makes the journey to innovation exciting and attainable. Leo’s also a LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® trainer & facilitator who believes unlocking innovation takes new approaches.

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