Vivian Gang wrote an article for Fast Company titled This is how to reframe your thinking and find more meaning in your work.
« Batia Wiesenfeld, a professor of management at New York University’s Stern School of Business… who studies how people adapt to challenges in organizational life, explains that recognizing your true overarching goal gives your actions meaning, and “people who are thinking in terms of meaning are more cognitively flexible and adapt better.” »
« But, if you’re always adapting, how does this affect your commitment levels? Think about it in organizational terms. If an organization is always flexible, always changing gears, always thinking about trends in the market and what competitors are doing, could this lead to a lack of direction and commitment? What are the downsides to always adapting and never committing? »
« Tim Harford, an economist and journalist, wrote in his book, Adapt: Why Success Always Starts With Failure, that the modern economy makes it harder to effectively plan and commit because “whether we like it or not, trial and error is a tremendously powerful process for solving problems in a complex world.” »
« However, Harford says it’s “probably a much better state of mind” to say “this might work” versus asserting “this is going to work.”
“If [‘this might work’] is what you have in your mind when you start, you’ll be much more alert to take in signals, new information, tweak it, adjust it, adapt, or maybe just stop,” he explains. »
« If you’re in a scenario where you’re still learning new things, it benefits you to stay open to options. And adapting, adding randomness and a bit of chaos, in uncertain situations is what Harford believes makes us better. »
« At the organizational level, Wiesenfeld says there needs to be a balance between adapting and committing because “when it comes to actually executing, when you have to get stuff done, then being more specific, being more detailed, being more focused on the here and now is essential.” »