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Nick Saban Is a Steve Jobs-Type Control Freak: Exhibit 63

Kid Rock, Innovation and Resistance to Change...

Show love to those who come real with it
Life's a b**ch , but I deal with it
I'm in it to win it like Yzerman
Can drink about fifteen Heinekins
I'm not born again but if I was
I'd ask to come back with a little more love
Puffin the Winston, drinkin' a four-oh
Kid Rock and I'm a let you know...

Wasting Time --Kid Rock

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We’re all a little bit scared of change, aren’t we?

The year is 1998.  I turn on the MTV music awards and a see a white guy with long hair, a funky hat and a red suede sweatsuit jumping around stage, rapping and screaming.  The scene around him is surreal – there’s Kid rock a midget bouncing around on stage with him, the music behind him is 90% provided by a rock band with a bassist and lead guitarist who look like bikers and a middle-age black woman on drums. 

My conclusion.  This sucks.  It will never last.  Why are they on the MTV music awards.  WTF?

Well, it turns out that dirty white hippie was Kid Rock.  The world had it right early, I had it wrong.  I became a fan over time.  I was late to the game.

Love him or hate him, Kid Rock arrived.  Some of you never liked him.  Most of the world eventually did. 

We see things that interrupt our pattern, and our first instinct is to protect what we know – even if the new thing is better.  Need another example?

Messaging.  If you’re Gen X like me, texting came online at a time when I didn’t need another way to communicate.  Like a lot of people in their 30’s at the time, I WAS KILLING IN IT CORPORATE AMERICA VIA EMAIL.  I didn’t want or need texting.  My kids were young and without phones – I didn’t see what the big deal was. DID I MENTION MY EMAIL GAME WAS SICK?

Turns out, I missed a channel of immediacy with those I most wanted to communicate with.  Now I can’t think of life without the immediacy of text – although that responsiveness will go down over time.

You’ve got your own stories about how you resisted change in your life and now look back and feel stupid, right?  Hit me with those stories in the comments.

The point?  We are resistant to change, so we often are slow to see the benefits of new innovations that appear before us.  To be sure, not all new things are going to break through like texting – or like Kid Rock.

But it really doesn't matter.  Most of us are resistant enough to all change that we’re slow on everything – including the ones that really matter. 

That has to spill over into your ability to innovate at work, right?

If we’re slow to adopt changes that obviously improve the status quo, how could we possibly be expected to innovate on our own at work?

Oh, I GET IT – YOU’RE QUICK ON PROVIDING INNOVATION AT WORK BUT JUST A LITTLE BIT SLOW IN YOUR RESPONSE TO ADOPTING QUALITY INNOVATIONS PROVIDED BY OTHERS.

Sure you are, Sparky.  Sure your are.

 

Comments

Ron Ulrici

Change is certainly inevitable and we live in a world of constant change and change coming at us with lightening speeds. The real issue to me in this ever-changing world is the tendency of accepting everything coming down the path because it is the trendy thing to do. We abandon the last cool thing to embrace the new one without evaluating what the upsides and downsides are.

If you are old enough to remember the saying, “Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater,” you might understand the folly of embracing change for changes-sake. Some old-school ways of doing things can actually be more effective and more personally gratifying. Remember the guy that experimented with giving up his cell phone and Facebook for a month and how he reunited with his grandfather and other family members?

Some people have actually gone back to the future when they discovered how much better vinyl sounds better than digital. Not everything new is better.

So, my message is, Sparky, make the changes that work for you and hold onto the ones that also work for you. Whatever happens, don’t lose yourself in the process.

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