“Great to see you! You Haven’t Changed a Bit!”
By Yochi Siskindovich
Issue 8 Summer 2011
As designers and design managers we are in the business of change. We are constantly challenging the status quo in an attempt to improve our world. We therefore have a great responsibility to regularly question our belief systems and, if need be, adopt new ones.
Naturally, changing one’s opinion is not easy. You risk being viewed as inconsistent, soft, and insecure. How is it that openness, mental flexibility, and a willingness to improve oneself are not valued as qualities of the highest order? On the same note, how is it that staying the course, never budging, and maintaining one’s convictions are so widely esteemed? How has changing one’s own mind become so unpopular?
When was the last time you TRULY changed your mind?
As you read this, if you can recall a recent and major change in your worldview, then you are excused from reading the rest of this blog. I’m not talking about small adjustments but rather substantial mental U-turns. The fact of the matter is that many of us resist change while criticizing others for acting just as we do. We may know a Democrat turned Republican, or an anti-Semite turned Rabbi, but these are the rare exceptions.
Most of us (including yours truly) assembled a rough worldview as young adults and will keep most of it undisturbed until the day we die. Somehow, we feel funny keeping our car, wardrobe, and hairstyle for more than ten years but we feel absolutely fine keeping convictions we acquired in our teens.
Albert Einstein said, “Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen.” If he was right – and he often was – we should examine our convictions, listen to shows we never listen to, read the newspapers we never read, listen to people we believe are wrong, and become the change agents we aspire to be.