Navigating Change – why minds are stuck on old tracks

David CarterGeneral

Navigating

I was thinking the other day about generational differences in approaches to navigating, and how we all achieve the same (compliance output) but approach it in many different ways.

When I was younger (pre internet), I’d watch my dad drive using maps for longer distances, and street maps for local situations. Maps were studied diligently before the journey, with landmarks noted. Any deviation from the map usually resulted in the navigator and driver feverishly working to get back on track. There was no “recalculating” back in those days.

When people learnt how to get from one place to another, they committed this to memory, even if this meant performing some turns incorrectly. Once something had been learnt, it was easier to leave it in place, committed to longer term memory, rather than re-wire the memory.

And this is the crux of most people these days. We’ve wired ourselves into doing compliance a certain way, even if that way sometimes means we post and unpost a journal through a couple of accounts to get to where it needs to go, just because that’s the way we were taught, or the way we’ve always done things.

But moving into the newer generations, they operate in a different way. When they travel they use google maps or some map technology, or in the outdoors they have route maps pre-walked by someone else and uploaded available for use.  The thought process on driving or walking is much calmer, and there is less focus on the location of where you are, and where you are going. Somewhat blindly we all follow the directions of the navigator, and when mistakes are made we just calmly wait for a recalculation. We can drive through dozens of cities and not even remember how to re-drive without our technological device.

This is certainly a newer approach to navigating, and we’d all probably agree it’s a lot better than the old ways of doing things.

Think about other new technologies or improvements we resist. Sky trains, underground trains, overhead roads. They all seem disadvantageous unless they can save time. And what of the future with driverless cars. We can see it occurring in our lifetimes perhaps, but will we all take it on board easily and readily? Will we be late adopters or early adopters?

Certainly we’re more comfortable with non change, it’s easier and requires less effort.

Taking on board new things is difficult: whether it is cloud, automation, or outsourcing: but it is the future.