When we asked members of a major client organization what they felt about their own organization, they came up with surprising feedback. They stated and even complained, that everything is so “comfortable, we all feel comforted and nice and there are no consequences for non performance” and so on. (It was the total opposite to many other organizations we talked to, that were complaining about constant pressure, burn-out and fear of failure). We could feel a huge desire, yes a call, to leave the comfort zone collectively, as it seemed like a dead-end, a trap and actually a place that could endanger a successful future for everybody. It was not only the place of comfort, but also the place of missed opportunities and unused potential. Where the old and worn-out behaviors live, and nothing new happens. Foreseeable, boring and… dangerous.
We all know our comfort zone – the area where we feel strong, confident, self secure, or just a place where we can let go of things, be ourselves and hang loose. Most of all, it is a place we know really well, the space where routine and long-learned patterns and behaviors live. But if this is the only place we inhabit, it will become toxic and a limiting: too small for us and our potential and we can get stuck and bored. This organization was striving for inspiration, asking for challenge and hoping for change.
So, this “leaving the comfort zone” became a major thing throughout that process. Soon it was clear that actually there is no “organization” that can leave the comfort zone, that each and every person is challenged to start doing things and stop doing others to make things happen. It actually often does not feel good to leave the comfort zone when trying out new things. Making that clear people could stop searching for the right (good) feeling while stepping into the unknown. So we started a collective process that would challenge and allow everybody to try out new things and earn new results over time. And it became clear, that you should not always trust your feelings.