How Familiarity Can Hinder Success

Resistance to change prevents us from moving forward. One of our common inherent traits is the comfort we get from staying in places of familiarity. If that is true at a personal level, it’s certainly true in the organizations and industries we collectively run. Processes are put in place and we fight the idea of changing them, because, well, it’s familiar. Simply by being human, we will be our own barrier to growth and advancement.

I don’t consider myself too old yet. To give you an idea, Apple was making their big push into the education sector when I was in grade school. The days when computer labs were full of Apple II computers. As students we used programs like Word Munchers. At the time, teachers were not convinced that the computer lab had much of a purpose in schools. They were clueless of how to implement the machines. It was evident by the 30-minutes of ‘free-time’ we had in the computer lab once per week.

For those who remember that period, would you have ever guessed at the time, that the concept of computers being used in schools was the early phase of how computing was about to change the course of our everyday lives 20 years later? Until then, computers were something only used in the workplace. Even then, it was on a limited basis. What was happening at the time was a paradigm change. One where the efficiency delivered by computing power would be used in more than just the workplace.

Fast-forward 15 years and we are sitting at the beginning of the world wide web, or at least a time where people were actually beginning to use it. Even if only as a reference tool. Enter online payment systems. They had actually been invented much earlier but not widely available. I remember the first time I saw the online payment option. There was no way I would enter my banking or credit card information into some online form that connected to who knows where. That’s what most online users thought at the time. I don’t need to tell you how that story ends. Once it became something of familiarity, consumers were all too happy to use it.

Now, even another 20 years later we see entire industries that are failing to take advantage of technology right in front of them. Upton Sinclair is commonly noted for writing,
“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”

What a statement to consider when attempting to look at the situation of your organization objectively. When asking what you can do to make a difference in the ‘usual way of doing things’ (often referred to as ‘politics’), consider trying something that is out of the norm. Just because you’ve never heard of it, or don’t understand how it works, doesn’t mean it couldn’t be the very thing that rockets your organization to the top of competition.

Our objective with Clinical Studio is to provide a better tool, free of risk, for research organizations and study sponsors. Its an opportunity to put one foot outside the realm of familiarity and test the waters of a solution that will place them at the top of the competition.
If you are connected to research in any way, trying this will be the easiest step to adding value to your organization. It’s free to use as a single user: Clinical Studio – A New Paradigm in Research.

 

See Also: The Parallel Between Drought Conditions and Clinical Research

Photo: © Can Stock Photo Inc. / stuartmiles