Opposite George

The continuous improvement mindset suggests that small changes over time eventually add up to big changes. Examples are plentiful for this principle, but of course there are exceptions to the rule. Small trumps big almost every time.

Not many people have been successful turning their entire lives around in a single day. George Costanza is the poster boy for big (some prefer “stocky”) change. This clip from Seinfeld’s Opposite George episode is classic on so many levels.

Professionally, Opposite George can be a great teacher for change. When I teach continuous improvement to others, I show this clip and challenge the group to get out of their comfort zones and try new things. “Try being opposite George for a day.”

I am currently reading Matt May’s new book, Winning the Brain Game, and was happy to see Matt call out Opposite George as an inspiration to naming a technique he calls “Opposite World.” An exercise that helps you flip your thinking on end to see things from a new and fresh perspective – just what you need when trying to solve a problem and you are battling with Fixation. (One of the 7 fatal flaws of thinking in Mays new book).

Thank you George for leading a revolution in opposition.