Unless you are a thrill-seeker, getting out of your comfort zone is hardly the first thing on your agenda.
We are pushed away from our comfort zones every time there is a change. It doesn’t really matter if the changes are for good or not, our bodies always react the very same way: against the change.
For example, once when I had implemented the first email system of a company, many employees continued to send company-wide internal communications in carefully printed chunks of stapled papers. They were properly distributed by a now-obsolescent professional solely responsible for this noble task. The CEO of that company said to me at the time: “this e-mail thingy will never catch on – it requires people to have their computers on”.
This and similar stories are not only stories of old dinosaurs who had to cope with new technologies. It is also our own story - as present-day dinosaurs - trying to cope with new things that are happening right in front of our noses right now.
There are technological revolutions taking place as we speak. Generation Y sees e-mail as a very inefficient communication method, as negatively as we now see landline telephones. Our parents can still remember the days when letters were considered very efficient.
Privacy and conversational exchanges are also shifting towards different models, different behaviors – all fed by new technologies and gadgets. Much as our behavior has changed with the introduction of computers and the internet. Generation Y will one day laugh at us for using mobile phones and accessing the internet. I’m sure there will be much more interesting alternatives.
There are also process revolutions taking place right now. Companies are more and more knowledge-oriented instead of process-oriented. The process revolution that took place in the '90s opened up space for a new generation of agile and dynamic organizations. For a long time organizations have been shifting from strong, military-like structures to freer, empowered environments measured by performance.
We will always be pushed away from our comfort zones. Changes, bad and good, will come in many different shapes and sizes. Embracing the changes, shaping them towards positive ones and coming out victoriously on the other side are the best alternatives for longing for more time spent in our comfort zones.
We should all be inspired by the thrill-seekers and keep relentlessly pushing the barriers forward. The barriers will move anyway – it is always better to be part of the organizations pushing them.