A conversation over the weekend with Peter Simons, co-founder of Performant, a management consulting firm, turned into a twitter dialog which, eventually, sparked other thoughts and ended up with his ideas about change in my inbox. His views around change & perceptions are too good not to be shared (thanks Peter for permission to reproduce in here), not to mention his formula to calculate quality of feelings as a function of change in perceptions, simply brilliant (nerds & quants please feel free to comment or elaborate).
Changes in our lives are important and cannot be avoided. We normally do not like them, they trigger us to take action.
There are many simple examples how we react to changes. If temperature starts raising we notice.
If light levels or sound levels suddenly change we react. If something in our view suddenly moves we look at it before we know.
The reason is that when we lived in trees we needed those triggers in order to survive.
Today changes affect us in the following way: If something changes for the better we are happy. If it changes for the worst we dislike. Once better or worse we do not pay attention to it anymore. We get used to it. Hence only the CHANGES give a stimulus to our mood, to our lives. Please understand the importance of changes to the way you are.
Whatever we do in live is mainly driven by perceptions. Marketers now that very well.
We hardly take the time to verify and we believe what we perceive. The media are very good at that. We assume a lot and that is dangerous.
News shows one side of the story: the accident with the aircraft. They will NOT TELL US how many aircrafts landed safely.
They will not tell us about all the peaceful muslims on earth after a car bomb kills an American soldier in Afghanistan etc..
It would be worth to THINK at least a few minutes once digesting information.
Here we go. We are triggered by changes. You cannot always manage changes yourself. Or can you? Yes you can because a large part of those changes are changes in PERCEPTIONS. We are triggered by CHANGES IN PERCEPTIONS:
For those who love mathematics:
U = d(Perception)/dt .
where U is the quality of the feeling that was triggered. It can be positive or negative
Once you understand that,
YOU yourself can change your perceptions too.
- look at the flip side of a story, what was NOT TOLD???
- if you have a bad moment start to think that tomorrow probably will be better and if tomorrow arrives ENJOY the improvement
- in conflicts with other people try to understand that a large part of the conflict is probably based on perceptions. Find out what really goes on instead of assuming
Three ways of improving your quality of life, personally and professionally. It improves your decision-making.
Good news: think about it and you will find that there are many more ways of changing your perception.
About Peter Simons
By applying the management techniques he learnt at AT&T, Peter turned smaller technology companies into successful businesses. In the current crisis he is co-founder of Cohen & Simons that assists companies in financing industrial, technology and life science companies.
Peter holds an MSc (Hons) in electrical engineering from Eindhoven University of Technology and an MBA (Hons) in finance and general management from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.