In his book, Only the Paranoid Survive, Andrew Grove writes, “The lesson is, we all need to expose ourselves to the winds of change”.
What he was referring to how easy it is to get comfortable. How easy it is to get complacent. How easy it is to miss that someone is eating your lunch.
Max Bazerman researched this topic in his the book, The Power of Noticing: What the Best Leaders See. Max explains,
Research on change blindness documents the striking degree to which we fail to notice information in our environment. Unfortunately some of the information we miss is important, even critical. And much of this failure occurs not with physical information that we should be able to see with our eyes but with changes in economic conditions, changes in unemployment rates, changes in medical conditions, and so forth. Even people in society who are charged with noticing often fail to do so…….One important hint from Simons and Chabris’s research is that we are particularly unlikely to notice a change when it occurs gradually.
In other words, we’re particularly blind to the slippery slope.
Sometimes you do have to sweat the small things because those small things, add up to major changes.