So much of our routine business is conducted on autopilot, not because our current providers are necessarily excellent rather because it is too much of a hassle to change them. Think about your health insurance, car/home insurance, banking, phone network, cable, internet, doctors, subscriptions, software, retirement savings or investments – most likely they are with the same institutions you have been using for years. We often allow things to renew automatically without further investigation because of the time it takes to do something else.

While we don’t have the bandwidth to research every decision or spend the time canceling and adding every time a service comes up for renewal, it is likely worth the effort to make some conscious decisions to do so on occasion. It’s also worth considering the long-term cost when you choose any on-going provider, whether that be a subscription or service professional. It may be tempting to jump at the low-cost introductory offer but remember they are counting on you to continue when the discount expires because you don’t want to take the time to wait in their customer service queue to cancel.

But if you are the provider and not just the consumer, allow the “it’s-hard-to-change” principle to work in your favor. Make your initial encounter enticing enough to get the consumer started on an automatic renewal program and enhance your chances that they’ll stick with you for the long term.

That first step has disproportionate value for everyone.

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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