No one would argue that the iPhone changed the world. It was introduced to the public on June 29, 2007 and a year later was followed by the App Store. This virtual store housed on every iPhone allowed developers to offer apps for anything they could imagine. Do you want to read the newest book by your favorite author the day it was released, or even have the book read to you? Well, now there’s an app for that. How about control your garage door remotely, turn on the lights in the house before arriving home late, or see who is ringing your doorbell? Well, there’s an app for that, too. From creating flash cards for a test to ordering take-out to filming high-definition footage for a major motion picture, there is absolutely an app for that.
These apps are all made possible by the iOS operating system. It is important to recognize that without this operating system providing a common foundation from which to build, it would be much more difficult to innovate and make accessible what developers desired to create. The iOS operating system provided a framework from which to build an entirely different version of the world.
This concept isn’t limited to apps and smartphones, however. In the 1960s, professional development took center stage in the business world. Since then, the learning and development market has grown to a $165.3B industry. Just like there’s an app for anything you could imagine, there’s a training company that will tell you any and every way to grow and develop. If you want to be a good leader, learn how to network better, or develop behaviors and attributes within yourself that will lead to high levels of success there is a development course or workshop for that. In the world of professional development, the wisdom and knowledge is near limitless. You will certainly walk away from every book and every workshop with a long list of what-to-dos. However, the question quickly becomes how to make those intentions a reality. What does the professional development industry offer in way of operationalizing all the what-to-dos?
In the world of professional development everyone will tell you what to do. They will impart good wisdom and excellent knowledge. You will walk away from every book and every workshop with a lot of good what-to-do’s. What you won’t walk away with is how. How do you implement what you learn into your life?
Currently, coaching is the most popular answer to that question. A coach provides not only the information one needs to better themselves, but also provides a source of external motivation and accountability. A scheduled check-in with a coach increases the odds that an individual will implement what they have been learning. According to Dr. Britt Andretta “Coaching and feedback are different but powerful tools that should be part of every workplace. In the new world of work, coaching brings a range of powerful benefits. When employees receive coaching, studies show that 70% improve their performance and relationships, they become better communicators, and their confidence increases. Additionally, research from the Human Capital Institute found that 51% of organizations with strong coaching cultures report a higher revenue than their peers and nearly two-thirds of their employees rate themselves as highly engaged.” The benefits of coaching are real and quantifiable.
There is a drawback to coaching however, and that is cost. Hiring a coach costs anywhere between $75 and $200 per hour. For one year of coaching, you could invest as much as $10,400. Unfortunately, most people do not have the financial resources to invest in a personal coach. So, while there is no doubt that coaching increases efficiency, productivity, and overall satisfaction it is only available to the few who can afford it. There needs to be a way to make the knowledge and tools available in the world of professional development accessible to everyone the way that the iOS operating system allowed anyone to create an app for anything. And now there is.
On September 22, 2020 a book was introduced to the world with little fanfare and way less marketing than the iPhone. This book introduced a methodology that was the “how” to all the “whats” of personal and professional development. Like the iPhone and iOS this newly published book introduced a behavioral operating system that allowed a person to operationalize any principle, skill, concept or behavior. The book is called Streaking. Streaking is the easiest system in the world to operationalize the intangible character traits and behaviors that propel you toward who you want to become. Once you learn the system, you start streaks which are the hows of all the whats.
Let’s run a few examples. Stephan M.R. Covey wrote the highly popular book “The Speed of Trust” In its pages you learn what trust is and what you need to do to develop and maintain a trusting culture. You learn that there are five waves of trust, four cores of credibility and thirteen trust behaviors. All of it, shedding light on what trust does to increase the speed of transactions, the productivity of the workforce, and the effectiveness of a leader. The question after reading is how do you make these trust behaviors stick? There’s a streak for that - Review at least one trust behavior daily.
Every day you pull out the book and review one of the trust behaviors such as “Straight Talk” you may review a lot of it or a little of it, it does not matter, what matters is that you review at least one of the behaviors. You don’t have to stop at one, you can review more, but that is not as important as doing this every day and seeing how many days in a row you can do it. Through time you will change. You will develop the skills of a trusted, leader, friend, and family member.
In “Culture Code,” written by Daniel Coyle, three skills to build culture are detailed which are as follows: Skill 1 - Build Safety, Skill 2 - Share Vulnerability, and Skill 3 - Establish Purpose. If you want to develop each one of these skills, start and keep a streak. For example, to build safety as a leader in the organization you start a streak to solicit feedback at least one time weekly. To share vulnerability, you start a streak to ask for help at least one time weekly. To establish purpose, you read the organization’s purpose statement at least one time weekly, or you review or write at least one sentence of your purpose statement daily.
Let’s run just one more example. Talan wanted to test the waters of coding. He saw the salary of a coder and thought, “that is a sum of money I would like to make.” He knew what he wanted to explore, now how do you explore it? There’s a streak for that.
Talan downloaded a coding app and set a streak to open the app at least one time daily. Day after day he would open the app and since it was open he would learn a little about coding. After a couple of months, he had learned enough to program a webpage or two. Another month of opening the app and he learned how to set up a website store. After 182 consecutive days of opening and closing the app, not only did Talan learn to code a website, he also learned that he didn’t want to become a professional developer.
Whatever the scenario, if you want to apply what you learn, Streaking is your behavioral operating system which you use to start and keep streaks. Read a book on being better, start a streak to apply what you learned. Attend a workshop on being a world class leader, start a streak to actualize what you learned. Participate in a discussion to improve culture, start a streak to compliment at least one person’s work daily.
Improvement is such a powerful word in anyone’s vocabulary. Most people want to get better, but don’t have the simple tool to get better. They try and try but fall short because just like all devices before the iPhone, there wasn’t a simple tool. Today all of that has changed. The Streaking Operating System gives you the ability to add any streak to your life and the operating system itself is transparent. You don’t need to set up the right environment, have a cue, craving response and reward. You don’t need to establish a routine. All you need is to set a streak, a laughably small activity, that you do daily, weekly, or monthly. Record that you have done it and join the streaking community.
The iPhone improved our daily lives by providing a common framework on which people could put apps. Those apps were built by people wanting to help other people improve their lives. Today the Streaking Behavioral Operating System is a common framework on which people can start streaks. Those streaks are started because people want to improve and improvement comes a little bit every day but makes a large impact on the person, their loved ones, and the world.
By: Jeffery J. Downs & Katie M. Call