Ed Toner

Blog: Caution you are entering your comfort zone?

I know, getting “outside your comfort zone” is as cliché as saying “think outside of the box”.   Your comfort zone is where you perform activities and behaviors that are routine and minimize stress and risk.

Caution: You Are Entering Your Comfort Zone In order to maximize performance we need some anxiety….just not too much.  It is often safer for managers and individuals to wait for instructions and do what they are told, rather than suggest change and move the team forward in a more productive direction.  In the challenging workplace environment of today, there are many reasons to not make worthwhile change happen.  I believe the main reason is risk.   Why stick your neck out for something that might become an office conflict?  Because taking risk is how we make change happen.  

I want everyone to realize that we are all implementers of change.  Managers should create an environment and spirit of engagement among employees to welcome suggestions for change.  A willingness to embrace change makes you a more valuable member of the organization.   When you recognize the opportunities created by change, you’re more prepared to benefit from them.

There is an immense need in the public sector to embrace change.  Change in the way we do things, new ways of looking at customer needs, new ways of delivering customer service, and new ways of strengthening customer interactions.  We need to continuously analyze our processes and simply put……challenge the status quo.  Just because “we have done it this way for years” does not mean it is the best way or even relevant anymore to our business of serving the citizens of Nebraska. 

Change can be disruptive initially, but eventually constructive change tends to increase productivity and improve customer service. The private sector knows that change is vital to business progress.  Without change, businesses would likely lose their competitive edge and fail to meet the needs of their customers.  So why has the public sector not embraced that same philosophy?

Leadership is about leading, but it’s also about implementing change.  A good leader has to take the time to really understand the problem are we trying to solve with change, who will be impacted and how; and finally, why would someone resist the change?

A good leader has to take the time to:

  • Really understand and communicate the problem we are trying to solve
  • Determine who will be impacted and how?
  • Understand why would someone resist the change?



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