Moving into the unknown
When does a groove become a rut? This is easy to answer from a literal, off road driving perspective- it is when the benefits of the grooved surface start slowing down the car because the underside is scraping along the surface. The groove became too deep from over use.
It is harder to answer this question when it is symbolically applied to our lives, working habits, careers or health...
Being 'in the groove' means that things are happening easier for you. They take less effort to achieve, and this generally happens after you've been doing something for a while. You've built up an experience base with it, which allows you to partially disengage your conscious mental processes to achieve the tasks.
This is the beginning of the rut- the transition from conscious questioning of procedures and processes to automatic actions. This is initially good, it allows us to get through tasks quicker and start to help others with the accomplishment of their related tasks. We come to be seen as knowledgeable in the office, potentially being promoted based on our experience.
What experience does is allow us to stop seeing things from an outsiders perspective, and therefore accept the status quo more often. It means that we are able to achieve our daily requirements with far less, if any, effort towards self improvement or self education. This is dangerous as it reduces our ability to respond to a changing environment.
The benefit of moving into the unknown is the self development required to achieve the move. We are inherently fearful of the unknown though, and our minds are able to raise many objections to moving into it. Each time we take risks and move into the unknown, we are improving our ability to deal with a changing environment. And, if there is anything that characterises the current environment, it is change.
In my own experience, moving from my technically specialist field into a leadership position in a broader field has resulted in substantial personal and professional benefits. I was able to achieve the learning required, whilst acknowledging the fear of the unknown. The greatest benefit has been in bringing the specialist human factors knowledge I had into a new area, and seeing the resulting performance increases from those who had not been exposed to this knowledge. Further, seeing them take ownership of their improvements through applying the lesson arising from the habit of high performance, and knowing they will be taking this knowledge into their own specialist areas.
Using an advanced combination of aviation human factors research, Sky High Performance focuses on turning technical professionals into generalist leaders. This involves working with an individual to enhance the performance of their team through their self development, ultimately, empowering your team to identify their own performance improvements.