Optimize anything with the knowledge of habituation
don't know if you are like me but when I go to a café I always pay attention to the service, the interior design, the food etc. It just comes naturally since I cannot stop myself from getting ideas on how I would have designed the place or how it could be done better. As a designer, this is something you learn in school. It is called "habituation", and is primarily used in product design. Habituation is how our minds are responding to a stimulus after repeated presentations. Essentially, our minds learn to stop responding to a stimulus which is no longer biologically relevant. This is extremely relevant in some cases, like when we are driving a car. With more driving experience, we learn how to drive cars naturally without thinking about how to shift gear and steering in the right direction etc. - this process was extremely challenging the first time we should drive a car, "So many things to do and remember, right?" Unfortunately, this habituation process can prevent us from seeing the most obvious things since our mind stopped responding to the stimulus - so we do it because "that's how it is and that's how it has always been".
What is habituation?
Habituation is how our minds are responding to a stimulus after repeated presentations. Essentially, our minds learn to stop responding to a stimulus which is no longer biologically relevant. This is extremely relevant in some cases, like when we are driving a car.
How to use this knowledge of habituation in an organization
If you want to optimize a workflow in any given organization you'll have to ask questions like, what if, why this, for which reason did they do it like this. Hopefully, you'll discover how much of everything, could really be done better if you just ask questions and doesn't accept status quo. It may sound obvious, but still, so many people forget all about this since they are already in the habituation zone.
Ask questions and you'll find optimizations you wouldn't have thought of in the next 100 years (Since you would continue in the state of habituation). Ask questions about the software you use, the interior design of the office, the hiring process etc. don't answer the questions... think about them and discuss them with other employees. Why do you receive emails from clients the way you do... Could this be done differently? I believe, probably yes since most companies just do it because that is how other companies does and that is how they have done it the last 20 years. It's unbelievable so many companies who have forgotten 100% about innovation. Why?
There's especially some areas of workflows which often falls into the downside of habituation. These areas are logically enough the areas where people work with repeated tasks. This could, for example, be customer service or inventory management. In other working areas like the marketing department, workers are constantly challenged to come up with something new. At workplaces where employees are working with repeated tasks, I find it especially important that the management allows newly hired people to challenge the current processes and workflows - if not, the new employees will often be ordered to "do it like we have always done it" by other employees. It's a huge problem if the other employees are working as blind people in the state of habituation. It is like giving directions to other people of a road you have never heard of!
Organizations need to strive to look at what we do and what the customers are asking for. We MUST be ready to adapt quickly and change to the problems of the present so we can get ahead of our competitors in the future. Don't forget to think about innovation.
Nike says "Just do it" but others say; Do it for a reason, to change and adapt. Adidas got it right: "Impossible is nothing".
You might Also Like
Being ahead of your competitors
In the digital age research and data is king and content is your kingdom. In a game of chess, the content is all the pieces you need to defend your kingdom. If you can predict the next four moves, plan your own move at the right time and adjust to unpredictable moves, your odds of winning will increase.Read More