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To Ponder: Breaking Superstition

Happy Friday the 13th everybody. Are you the superstitious type?

In 1880 a group of New Yorkers were tired of the stigma surrounding the number 13 – so they took matters into their own hands and founded the ‘Thirteen Club’. The club would have a 13 course meal, on the 13th day of the month, in room 13 of a pub that one of the founders owned. To further demonstrate their apathy for superstition, members of the ‘Thirteen Club’ were required to pass under a ladder before sitting down at the table.

Interestingly, superstition is just another example of a social norm. Breaking a norm creates an ‘attention response’. You’ve likely experienced it. Perhaps you were travelling in a lift and it jolted unexpectedly. Or you were driving a car and a kangaroo jumped out at you. In fact, I had one this week – I was at a client’s site and the automated rotating doors out front suddenly stopped while I was midway through.

Breaking social norms creates attention in places and for things that wouldn’t otherwise warrant it. Given that a common issue that Change Leader’s face isn’t being declined, but rather, being ignored, your question to ponder this week is:

What established cultural norms can you break to create positive attention disruption?

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Brendon Baker

Brendon is a leading expert in strategic framing and inside-out change. He has led and guided over $11 Billion in transformative projects and programs, from transformations to teddy bears. He is the author of the best-seller Valuable Change, and niche top seller Creating High Value PMOs. Brendon now spends his time helping leaders cut through the noise to focus on what matters; working with them to create new realities.

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