By Lauren Kenney
Vice President of Product Development and Program Management
Entergy Services, Inc.
I’m reading Resisting Happiness by Matthew Kelly, a thought-provoking look at how we resist doing things we know are good for us. I’m purposefully reading it slowly, a chapter a day, and trying to focus on suggested actions from each chapter. But I’ll be honest. It’s easier to do nothing and let the days go by without having completed just one of the suggested actions.
Why is it so hard to change?
Consider the change that will happen in the energy industry in the next few years. Technology continues to create amazing new possibilities. We’re transforming how we serve customers, manage the grid and design infrastructure. Entergy is no exception. We expect tremendous change at our company within just the next five years.
It’s natural to resist the change that’s coming, to hold onto the way we do our work and insist that new processes work just like the old ones did. Resistance is going to happen, but conquering it is key to a successful transformation. In so many cases, our own success depends on us, individually, recognizing and conquering our resistance to change.
So how do we begin? Resisting Happiness talks about the power of habits, both good and bad. Habits create rituals that make it easier to complete tasks in our lives, whether as simple as brushing our teeth or as complex as preparing a weekly project report. In the energy industry, the projects we’re working on will replace systems that have been in place for decades. We’ve created habits around these systems and processes. We know how they work and how to work around them when necessary. So if I may suggest a new habit for all of us - take a fresh look at your daily habits at work, and think about ways they can be improved.
Be open to listening and learning. Cognitive bias is a tendency to think in certain ways that can lead to a deviation from good judgment. It’s human nature to think we’re better at something than we actually are. When you read about a new project, talk to peers about change, or receive training for new business procedures, resist cognitive bias. Be open to listening and learning something new!
A final suggestion is to be comfortable giving and receiving feedback. Feedback from those who are out “running the railroad” will ultimately lead to better solutions. As you work toward change in your own organization, seek out and provide feedback so everyone can listen and learn.
The transformational shift of our industry will lead to success if each of us is open to change. Recognize the resistance to change, and seek to overcome it. I can’t wait to see what the future of the energy industry holds. I know Entergy will be successful in our transformation, and it will be attributable to our employees’ dedication and willingness to change.
You can learn more about what's next for Entergy in our 2016 integrated report.