Friday May 23, 2014
At University we were consistently told to “step outside your comfort zone and try something new”. But what does that actually mean? It’s almost become a cliché. You hear the phrase and think, someday I’ll make that change and try something new, but for the majority of people it’s just too easy to fall back into everyday life and continue on.
Having recently made a lot of changes in my life, I was inspired to look at the benefits, challenges and aids that enabled me to take the leap – leaving a small town in Ireland to move to the big smoke that is London.
It was exciting but daunting at the same time; signing up to a 12 month lease, joining a new company and using the tube were all new experiences for me. However hard it was, looking back, it made me realise just how far out of my comfort zone I could push myself.
This has been hugely beneficial in my working environment. Not only am I challenging myself to do better and try new things but as part of the company culture, I am constantly challenged by the leadership team to help me realise my potential. Working at Purple Cubed has given me a unique insight to company culture and how much it can vary between different organisations. Some companies, like our own, have a very outcomes-focused culture, therefore engage their people by actively encouraging them to take on new challenges and setting new goals. Others, however, don’t and in some cases the result is a loss of top talent. We all know this is bad for business so how can these types of businesses make sure this stops happening?
A recent trend emerging is the use of technology to help drive an achievement focused attitude both in and out of work. The app ‘Balanced’ is just one example; allowing users to set and track tasks on a daily basis. It could be “step outside my comfort zone once a day” or “try cooking a new food once a week”. Completion and frequency are tracked ensuring it’s incredibly transparent and convenient.
In business, organisations are looking to performance enhancing software, such as Talent Toolbox, to encourage people to set their own goals, career pathways and track personal development amongst other things. A great example of this is restaurant group, Tragus, which implemented an online system to seamlessly linked individual and business key performance indicators making sure commerciality and business standards were top of the agenda.
Social media is also becoming far more prevalent in the working environment. No longer are Twitter, Google+ and Facebook used solely for catching up on friends’ social lives, but are a valid way to ensure that content relevant to the users can be easily and quickly found. At our recent breakfast event, Perry Timms, social HR guru, explained that he was consuming more relevant and up-to-date news than colleagues by ‘messing around on Twitter’ rather than reading trade journals.
Stepping out of your comfort zone can be difficult to start, hard to continue, but rarely regretted. Use the technology out there to help and in the words of Nike, take the leap and ‘Just do it’.
Has technology helped you step outside your comfort zone?