Complacency almost always stems from a sense of success or living in a comfort zone.
The world is constantly changing, and digital is all about flow. But complacency is at the heart of resistance to change. Where does complacency come from, and how to fix such an anti-digital mindset?
Complacency always has many excuses: Complacency goes hand in glove with the phrases "If only" and " this is how we've always done it." “That’s not the way we do things around here,” “We are different” etc. So don't wait for your "if only we'd known" moment. Watch out for “We have always done it that way.” These phrases and others like it typically refers to the complex, subtle practices that become ingrained in an organization’s culture -the collective mindset, to the point where they become part of its identity. Don’t underestimate how powerful these sentences are, they are the reflection of what you think. Complacency is probably the biggest challenge either individuals or organizations have to overcome. Once that barrier is broken, a positive change process can commence.
Failure to understand the need for change is in a way or another complacency: Why do people resist and what is the key to sustainable change? One could challenge the need for change to maintain a status quo or even to benefit from disruption, the reasons vary, but it will always drill down to self criticism (the heart of successful change). In essence, criticizing performance and moving forward is critical to the process and if change does not come from within, it will never happen. So in general terms, it is the the positive mind with continuous improvement thinking towards changes and associated benefits, which can be created using innovative practices. From business perspective, continual improvement differentiates between one hit wonders and the companies who really get it. Numerous "Big" projects run, complete, then slowly crumble away as people slowly revert to old ways, while few creative teams build phenomenal long lived transformations and make the difference.
A complacency mind gets use to reacting, not being proactive: If you stick to the comfort zone too long, you might lose the “mojo” to move forward. And if you always wait to react, ultimately there will come a time when you will not be able to do so in time. As such, you must always recognize that you can do better. Be proactive to look forward and move on. You can always expand the horizon, and use energy in more meaningful way; not just for beating down the competitors, but for living with purpose. In addition, never think you know it all, even humans as a “superior” species only know the tip of iceberg of our surroundings. Anyone who does will fall to the complacency trap. From business perspective, complacency from success is not necessarily a fatal affliction as some notable turnarounds are cited, but the recovery never seems to return a reformed company to its former glory. Avoiding complacency is essential to any business's long-term longevity.
The challenges for both individuals and organizations are to pay attention to CRIC-cycle (Crisis, Response, Improvement, Complacency), and how to try to break the cycle, or transform the last stage (complacency) into a "vigilance" status aimed at anticipating and preventing morphing into the next crisis. Only paranoid survive, and always avoid complacency.