Avoid The Slow Death of Business Comfort Zones


Human nature is programmed to seek comfort zones. (Who wants to be chased by a saber-toothed tiger all the time?) We look for stability, security and safety and, once we find it, we like to stay there. The challenge is that comfort zones can stall, or even kill, your business.

Here is a short list of what comfort zones look like in digital enterprise:

  • Doing things because they have ‘always been done that way’.
  • Decentralized systems, poor scalability and not preparing for the future.
  • Employees or teams who have not worked together and are committed to staying that way.
  • Continuing to buy one-off systems to solve problems vs. unifying technological capability.
  • Not adding new skills to meet new context and prioritization in performance targets.

If you see your organization in any of these points, it’s time for a change. You must be able to recognize, identify and address obstacles, barriers and blocks that could prevent digital transformation.

Comfort zones are a matter of mindset. Digital maturity comes from working through comfort zones. By stretching beyond what is known today, or at least recognizing that the ‘new’ is always coming, enterprises stay current, agile and adept at meeting marketplace conversations - and break through existing comfort zones.

Ironically, most enterprises are doing old-school marketing in digital form. Old-school enterprises do not have the knowledge or experience to transition to new processes, such as a user experience platform to unify the customer journey, and will need to address internal resistance to change and / or have a process to facilitate the necessary changes.

“Many companies who have failed to invest in creating an anticipatory mindset and decided to stick to their tried and trusted methods are increasingly struggling to keep up the pace. … it's the organizations that fail to see the value in driving both small everyday, and large transformational innovation that often find their industry has been dramatically changed by a yet another start-up that arrives on the scene.” ~ Daniel Burrus

Moving beyond comfort zones can come through innovation, forecasting trends, understanding your customers more deeply or even understanding your peers and their responsibilities with more clarity… all are paths to freshening perspective and processes.

And that’s what will keep your enterprise in business over time.

Lynn Scheurell