Habits – Path Dependence – 2

competition, differentiation, differentiation, ideal customer, Marketing, segmentation, single target market

In my earlier post I wrote about why Path Dependence can be a big barrier to success. The reason this is important when we look at Marketing and Product Marketing is that the market and the competitors are always changing. The customers change, the way they like to interact with suppliers changes, their priorities change. The way your competition reacts to these changes with their offerings and how you react all need to keep up with these changes

So the solutions which helped you become successful previously may not make you successful now. It happens to me all the time. Whenever I keep trying to use the same old data points, the same old methods and things don’t work I have to start going down to basics.

Habits are good , as I have said multiple times before, because they help cut out the energy requirements from our life , but the same habits become a baggage when you have to change to meet new scenarios. Habits work on path dependence.

While the basics of targeting a single target market, differentiation , segmentation, all remain as is, what changes is the way you address a customer. There was a time when you reached out on the phone to people. Then people. got Caller id phones and if they didn’t recognise your number you got diverted to voice mail. Then came email. But if you were still stuck on phone as primary method of prospecting and didn’t adapt to email prospecting you would be long gone.

So while habits are good, energy & time efficient, sometimes when things are not working out you need to look at another path to see if it can take you to your destination.

If you look at India’s history as an analogy, one of the reasons that they were able to conquer our country and rule it for almost 150 years was because they came with guns, while the Indian kings at that time, still had their armies using swords and spears.

In marketing if you don’t carry the ability to go back to basics to figure out what is causing your team to fail, then you won’t last long. Sometimes you have to change the teams just for this reason, because if they are not willing to change, you have just two options – either die a slow death or change the team and live to fight another day.

Till next time then, don’t let path dependence stop. you from exploring new solutions.

Carpe Diem!!!

Gratitude – it makes your more resilient

Decisions, Fear, Flow, Gratitude, Habits, Happiness, possibility thinking, problem solving

This was news to me. I have always spoken about being grateful for whatever we have in life instead of bothering about what we don’t have. This habit has held me in good state, because God has genuinely given me a lot to be thankful for. That doesn’t mean I don’t have aspirations, but I definitely don’t get anxious about things which don’t come my way.

What I learnt over the last few weeks is that gratitude gets more dopamine into your brain. That spike in dopamine helps the brain feel good. Since the brain is designed to make you safe always, it is always looking for the next point of danger. So the brain is always looking for the next negative item.

When the dopamine enters and the brain feels safe, it does not have fear. When it feels safe it is willing to think of more possibilities. The moment you get into a possibility mode, you tend to solve problems better, you take better decisions and better decisions help you get better in life. You get into flow state faster because negative things are not bothering you.

When you are able to solve problems, then your brain does not get frustrated with the impediments that come your way.

When impediments come your way, your brain goes into negative mode trying to visualise all the negative situations in a snowball effect. When that happens, your ability to think of solutions goes down. And you get further frustrated, which leads to anxiety and most health related problems start from there.

Therefor being gracious, having gratefulness, is extremely good for your health. when you have good health automatically you become more resilient handling tough situations physically also.

Till next time then, be grateful for all that you have.

Carpe Diem!!!

Habits – Path Dependence

Brain size, creativity, Energy, Habits, Human Brain, Uncategorized

I have generally been talking about how the human brain eats 25% of the energy that a body needs even though it is only 2% of the body mass. This is one of the reasons for procrastination in my opinion because the brain wants to conserve energy and by delaying the process of using the brain it’s able to save energy.

Since motivation is something which is fickle, you would rather convert something into a habit, so that it gets done automatically with a predetermined set of steps – something which B.J.Fogg explains very well in his book Tiny Habits.

Now the challenge with habits is that once formed, they are difficult to dislodge. So you become – literally a creature of habit. The human brain loves habits because they run on auto pilot, and don’t consume too much of energy. Since one of the key functions of the brain is to ensure your survival, the brain loves everything that does not consume energy so that it has enough when it has to figure out ways to survive.

With habits though you always follow a predetermined “path”.

However with changing situations in all our lives, you need to find ways to move away from the so called “beaten path” What made you successful then, will not make you successful in the future. Nokia realised it too late, Kodak realised it too late and there are a whole lot of other names that you can list. All these companies had put up terrific systems (equivalent of habits) to ensure economies, to ensure quality etc.

But the same systems got them blindsided.

Companies are also made up of people and when companies get blind sided, its the people who have actually got blindsided because they have become creatures of habit. To solve a new problem they use the same old tools, the same old sources of data which they have used earlier. But since the problem is new, the old tools don’t work and we are not willing to go back to first principles to solve the problem. Sometimes it pressure of time, sometimes revenue takes precedence and there are a whole lot of other reasons.

So the key thing to figure out is when to use creativity and when to go with something which has already proven useful many times before. When do you travel on the well tread path or choose a different road when you hit a fork.

As team leaders this is a problem which we face all the time and finding better ways to solve a problem is something that I am continuously looking out for. If you have found a way which helped you to creatively solve a problem pls let me know below in the comments.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!

Habits & Procrastination – Part 2

Brain size, Habits, Human Brain, peak Performance, procrastination, Productivity

Yesterday I wrote about one intersection which I think that exists between the book Tiny Habits by B. J. Fogg and The Art of Impossible by Steven Kotler. Like I have said multiple times earlier, I find the work of both the authors, amazing to say the least. I have read more books by Steven Kotler (SK) , than by B. J. Fogg (BJF).

Now one of the things BJF talks about to make something a habit is that after doing the habit you reward yourself by pushing a fist in the air or anything else which gives you a feeling of accomplishment. that happiness feeling caused by the feeling of achievement causes the feeling to become permanent over a period of time.

I think SK looks at the neurological aspects and says something similar. When we feel good various chemicals like dopamine (he’s listed another 5-6 of them like oxytocin, serotonin etc. ) get released. These chemicals make you feel good and while you are feeling good you tend to achieve more. So when you do a tiny habit like BJF says and then do a happiness gesture, the mind catches it and it makes you feel good and the brain remembers the feeling.

What BJF is doing is however having a prompt to do an action – a very small action at that – the tiny habit forming action – and making the process more mechanical and therefore repeatable so there’s no chance for the brain to scuttle your plans and make you procrastinate.

I would love to take the best of both the books and see how I can profit from it. I consistently want to figure more and better ways to improve my performance levels, so let me see how combining the 2 methods from these two authors can help me tame my brain to perform even better feats.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!