The Mindset of Change: It’s a personal Choice | SoftwareONE Blog

Adoption & Change Management

The Mindset of Change: It’s a Personal Choice

The Mindset of Change: It’s a Personal Choice

In our previous posts we intensively discussed why companies must adopt a standard of constant change in their services, how they can build a lasting adoption & change management strategy and how to best enable people to really embrace and use new technologies. However, one crucial part to consider for the change is that organizational change starts within each individual and requires individual change. Let’s discuss what that means for you as a person and the organization you work at!

Did you know?

“What we achieve inwardly will change our outer reality”

Plutarch (Greek Philosopher)

Plutarch realized that mindset is the controlling force of humanity, and yet, humanity still struggles with this concept 2000 years later. So, let’s talk about mindset. Yes, mindset. Plutarch inferred that it's a personal choice: How we decide to act, and how we decide to be on our own change journey starts with ourselves. It's about "I" before it's about "we". “I” have to evolve, grow, and change ~ a personal choice that no external force can control. So what is this mindset of change?

What’s Required to Have a Mindset of Change?

Change is an intentional act. We must decide to change, it really is as simple as that! We must decide to be open; this requires the understanding of some key points. The most important thing to accept is the fact that mindset doesn't get changed overnight. It doesn't get activated through the flick of a switch. We must accept that change is a personal choice, and lasting change takes time.

People quite often think that change happens TO them, but the reality is change happens WITH them. No matter the situation, change is still a personal choice. We must go deep and take control of our decisions. We have to go deep inside of our minds and awaken that change spirit, that spark, awaken that thing that's deep in there to allow for great things to come to life. Change can be found deep inside the mind however, it is up to us to reach it, that act is a choice we must understand.

Quite often, change is achieved through discomfort. Unfortunately (and fortunately), discomfort is part of the change process, and discomfort typically leads to change. So sometimes things get a little messy and a little uncomfortable, and that's OK. It's part of the process. We also need to learn to let go of anchors. This is a big one. Letting go of anchors is really hard for a lot of people. Letting go of something, especially something that you may have created yourself, or a process that seems to work is very difficult for most people. Having the ability to let go is liberating.

We must also learn to take control of our own personal behaviors, thoughts, feelings and our individual actions. I would argue most importantly, we must reduce our own emotional reactivity, another thing that is within our personal control. No matter how much we want something or how much we don't like change, emotional reactivity gets in the way, and that's an important concept to grasp. Emotions guide our daily actions in every encounter. Emotions can’t be controlled, however our reaction to emotions, that is well within each person’s ability.

A Change(d) Mindset = A Change(d) Behavior

So, what do we do with this? How do we change this behavior? How do we accept this ‘changed’ mindset? It comes through living the principles of the Adaptability Quotient (AQ).

You've heard of IQ, right? You've heard of EQ. And now here's the new kid on the block, that connects all of that. This the Adaptability Quotient. The principles are very clear, (inspired by the Creative Thinking Institute), AQ is the capacity to cope and thrive with change. Not accepting the ‘I'm OK with it’ type change, instead, it’s all about cope and thriving! Thriving is an intentional act! We must chose to be active participants in our personal journeys.  

Adaptability is achieved through demonstrating flexibility. Demonstrating flexibility to yourself first by allowing yourself to be flexible. That's an intentional decision. Having flexibility in others. Remaining open and curious, relentless curiosity, unlearning and relearning, and the refocusing of our attention from resilience to perseverance. It's one thing to continuously be stuck in change and constantly overcoming the hurdles, it's another thing to persevere over time. Perseverance is about adaptability.

Now, we also must understand the concept of delaying personal gratification for the greater good.  Because sometimes the benefits aren't always immediate (or obvious), and we must have trust in the process, that's the important part. Trusting oneself, trusting one's peers, trusting the process. We must apply advanced problem-solving skills. Yep, that one is on us as individuals. We must also tolerate failure through to succeeding, we must learn to crawl before learning to walk.

We learn how to fall down. At least that's how I learned. I was crawling at one point in my life, then I fell down, a whole bunch of times. I learned how not to fall down, and after many trials, I learned how to stand up, eventually I learned how to run, and that's how we learn. We must learn from the failures. Examining those failures will lead to learning. We must continuously get better at getting better!

The difference between a fixed mindset, an adaptive mindset is that any individual can thrive and cope with change. Change doesn’t happen to us; we make change happen! That's SoftwareONE, that's who we are and what we are all about.

Let’s discuss how a change(d) mindset is part of every Transformation and Change Management journey. 

A Mindset of Change Requires a Purposeful Decision to

  • Accept the fact that mindset doesn’t get activated through the flick of a switch
  • Accept that change is a personal choice
  • Awaken that thing inside the mind to bring new things to life
  • Understand that change comes with discomfort and discomfort leads to change
  • Intentionally let go of anchors
  • Take control of personal behaviors: thoughts, feelings, and actions
  • Reduce Emotional Reactivity

Adaptability Quotient [AQ] – the Capacity to Cope and Thrive with Change

  • Demonstrating flexibility to self and others
  • Remaining open and curious
  • Unlearning and relearning
  • Refocusing resilience to perseverance
  • Delaying personal gratification for greater gains
  • Applying advanced problem-solving skills
  • Tolerating failure through to succeeding (learning)

Having a growth mindset (the belief that you are in control of your own ability, and can learn and improve) is the key to success. To get there, hard work, effort, and persistence are all important, but not as important as having that underlying belief that you are in control of your own destiny. It's worth the change - give it a try!

Managing Change from the Start

Start your Adoption & Change Management activities in conjunction with your project to create seamless planning and integration with the business improvement process. We show you how to best align people, technology and transformation

Learn more
  • Adoption and Change Management
  • Digital Transformation, Change Management

Comment on this article

Leave a comment to let us know what you think about this topic!

Leave a comment


Kevin Bernstein

Kevin Bernstein

Organizational/Systems Behaviorist & Adaptability Leader (Change Management)

Focusing on the people-side of change

Related Articles

Principles for Working with Microsoft 365
  • 14 April 2021
  • Herbert van Sintemaartensdijk
  • User Productivity, Digital Transformation, Adoption and Change Management
  • Future Workplace, People enablement, Technology Transformation, Microsoft 365, ACM

Principles for Working with M365

Four principles to consider when setting up and working with Microsoft 365.

The Keys to Agile Change Management | SoftwareONE Blog
  • 31 March 2021
  • Adoption and Change Management, Digital Transformation, Future Workplace
  • ACM, People enablement, Technology Transformation

The Keys to Agile Change Management

Agile change management involves an adaptable, people-first approach to create lasting change within your organization. Learn more about how to get started.

6 Challenges with Technology Change Management & How to Overcome Them | SoftwareONE Blog
  • 10 March 2021
  • User Productivity, Digital Transformation, Future Workplace, Adoption and Change Management
  • ACM, People enablement, Technology Transformation

6 Challenges with Change Management

Change is inevitable, but few businesses realize sustainable value from it. Learn how to overcome common challenges with change strategies.