The Curse of the Comfort Zone!

April 28th, 2014

Does your company’s comfort level affect the procurement projects you are able to get done?

Today’s post is by Mark Davis; Sr. Vice President and COO at SafeSourcing.

It never ceases to amaze me that as human beings we spend our entire lives searching for prizes, concepts, and goals only to achieve them and then find, much to our chagrin, what they promised only leads to new and sometimes bigger problems.  I believe that the concept of comfort is one of those sensitive areas whose very definition proves alluring and yet in practice can create problems for individuals and companies alike.

Let’s look at Merriam-Webster’s definition of comfort. 

“Comfort – a state or situation in which you are relaxed and do not have any physically unpleasant feelings caused by pain, heat, cold, etc.”

While this definition focuses more on the physical well being, I believe the definition of comfort stretches to the intellectual and emotional areas as well.  Let’s be honest though, reading this definition, who wouldn’t want comfort?  Taken to the next step, once achieved, who wouldn’t want to do whatever it took to stay in comfort, to keep in a “state or situation in which you are relaxed”?

Therein lies the trap of comfort because people begin to make decisions, overlook opportunities that involve risk, and shy from the “new” because they are afraid of losing the security of  the comfort zone.  When this happens the enticing nature of the benefits of comfort will create much bigger problems than the person or company ever faced before they became comfortable.

Does this mean comfort is a bad thing?  Definitely, not; it can bring a much needed break from an otherwise chaotic world if you are lucky enough to find it even briefly.  What is dangerous is when comfort slips into complacency and the mind starts looking at the risks associated with an opportunity with fear and mistrust rather than excitement and optimism.  Companies need to continue to look for the opportunities that will help them grow and get to new heights.  They need to examine longstanding vendor relationships they have grown “comfortable” with.  They need to investigate new technologies that could make them stronger.  They need to evaluate the mindsets they have when making decisions for the future to ensure they are not too entrenched in the “comfort” zone.

The comfort zone is nice and can be hard to break free of, but by moving on from a brief stay in this zone and into unchartered territories, the benefits will lead to stronger employees and business relationships and provide a stronger long term environment for your company based on weighing each risk and opportunity instead of investing that time trying to figure out how to maintain the comfort of the status quo.

For more information on how SafeSourcing can assist you  to break out of the “comfort zone” or on our “Risk Free” trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative.  We have an entire customer services team waiting to assist you today.

We look forward to your comments.

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