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Teaching an old dog new tricks November 29, 2008

Posted by Richard Shatto in Business Strategy, Innovative Strategies.
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I recently went to a seminar called The Red Bucket Strategy by Greg Wingard. Excellent. If you haven’t heard of it, click the link or Google and go. But, beware. You might be changed. 

The Red Bucket Strategy is all about changing ones self or ones company process or ones family or ones behaviour. But, it’s not so much about the change. We all change over and over. How many diets have you tried? How many times have you started an exercise program? We all understand what needs to change, even how to do it, but the “changing” that’s the hard part. Making the change last. Making change continue until the change is permanent. 

A statement was made in both the seminar and the accompanying workbook (excellent!) that the proverbial saying “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” is no longer true. Maybe it never was, but it definitely isn’t now. Turns out, you CAN teach an old dog… even one that’s really old. But, the real question is does the old dog really want to learn any new tricks? If he does, he can. 

According to the most current neuroscience research about neuroplasticity or capacity of the brain to change, well it isn’t the most current, but it’s the most current that is being accepted as current. If you don’t understand new scientific paradigms, go to Alibris.com and look for “The Process of Scientific Revolution” by Thomas Kuhn. It’s old, but one of the great books of the century. Once you read it, you’ll know what I mean.

Anyway, The Red Bucket Strategy suggests that if you concentrate your change efforts on one thing for a full 90 days, the change will become permanent. The new trick will be permanently learned. But, of course, do you want to learn the new trick long enough to stick it out for 90 days of practice? That, of course is the real question and there real show stopper for… gee, I hate to say most of us but it’s an unfortunate truth, myself included. 

So, is your business needing some change? Or is a manager or department needing some change? Most are, and in this current economic reality, it may be critical. Maybe the innovative thing you need is simply a commitment to make a known change. 

If you need some help. Contact me. I’ll help get you going and help you stick at it. At 51 I’m getting to be a bit of an old dog myself, but hey, we’ll work at it together. Maybe we’ll both learn something. Usually do.

Richard Shatto
Wordstorm Communications | 604-807-5334 Cell | wordstorms@gmail.com