Incremental Change Might Be the Wrong Mindset

by | Jan 8, 2023 | Change |


I’m a big fan of incremental change – 1% change each day. I think there is huge value in consistency in accomplishing change. And yet sometimes I wonder if this thinking holds me back – is it the wrong mindset?

For example, if we have a small business with a turnover of £100,000 per year. To grow our business incrementally, we will focus on improve our processes, tweaking here and there. Basically we will continue to do what we already do, but slightly better. Doing this we’ll likely achieve 5, maybe 10% annual growth.

There is nothing wrong with that. However, if we want achieve a turnover of £1,000,000 this year, incremental change won’t work. Our current processes, mindsets, behaviours are not fit for purpose. This is not to say what we have been doing up to now (to achieve the £100,000) is bad, wrong, or unimportant. It is none of those things. It is a gift of our former selves to our present selves. But it doesn’t mean we need to continue with that path. To achieve the £1,000,000 turnover, almost everything will need to change. Therefore, our conversations will (must) be radically different. What got us here, won’t get us there.

This is true of any area of life – perhaps you want to go from ‘couch’ to a marathon in under 3 hours 12 months from now. And it is not to say that incremental change is bad or unnecessary. I still think it is critical everyday. However, it is not the only form of change. And often, we set our goals too low and it is our mindsets that hold us back. We don’t believe we can or deserve it or feel like it is ‘not for us’.

A big massive goal can help us think differently and ‘see’ things that are holding us back.

Take time this week to take your current change goal (in whatever area of life you choose) and times it by 10, then scribble down in a notebook all of what would need to change to achieve it. How would you need to think different? How would your focus need to shift? Who’s help would you need? And, perhaps most importantly, what would you need to STOP doing?

Photo by sporlab


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