Why Insular Thinking Can Hamper Change

Written By Alla Levin
December 11, 2020

Why Insular Thinking Can Hamper Change

Whether you’re a leader who needs to manage emergent or planned change, insular thinking could be something you need to change in yourself before you can effect change in others. To understand why insular thinking can hamper change, it is perhaps necessary to take a lot at what it is to be an insular thinker.

Insular thought traits

A person described as insular will find it very hard to think beyond what they know, are comfortable with, and possibly have always done. This makes it difficult for them to be open and accepting of new ideas, or to have the ability to create new ideas or to see different ways to approach anything other than the way they always have.

Not only could this stop them from being able to think of solutions from a different angle, but it could also find them unable or unwilling to accept offers of help or suggestions that there could be a better way.  A suggestion that someone else may be better placed to step in and take charge of change for the better can lead to resistance. And this sort of thinking can have a detrimental effect on a business.

Imagine the damage that this insular thinking may have when ingrained in the management and leadership style of a business or throughout the staff.  Company ethos can be insular in itself, and it affects a surprisingly large number of companies. This type of thinking stops them from looking at competitors or other industries to learn lessons and ideas, believing that they are doing okay as they are.

Losing the insular and opening-up

Imagine the possibilities that are missed through not being open to fresh ideas, a new perspective on your businesses, or by engaging appropriate help when it is needed.  If you find that you and your business are suffering from a level of insular thinking, there are enormous benefits to be seen from hiring a change management consultant.

Hiring an organisational change management consultant to view your business with fresh eyes, fresh ideas, and industry experience can help you avoid the damage caused to your business by the trap of insular thinking and could be the best money you will ever spend.

You do not know what you do not know!

Overcoming business complacency is critical, no matter how successful you feel your business is. A reluctance to strive for more or having no understanding that you can always do better will ultimately damage your business.  Keeping your eyes, ears, and mind open to new ways of working, new products or services to offer, or engaging in new marketing techniques, may teach you something you did not know or were blinkered to.

Instead of “we will ask when we need help,” why not try a “how can you help approach” within your organization. Change management courses can help show the benefits of reversing insular thinking to effect change. It can provide you with the tools and techniques to change how your organization handles change or requests help and allow your business to move forward more readily.

Recognizing the natural change curve

The Kubler-Ross change curve clearly shows the thought processes surrounding change and how insular thinkers can be damaging, but effective change management processes can overcome this. It’s something well worth looking at within any business field, as outside influences could significantly affect your business, and often positively.

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