A Death Sentence in 8 Words

“Well, we have always done it that way,” is a phrase that demoralizes employees and derails innovation. Some would even say a death sentence.

 Companies who move the world forward are restless and always looking to improve their services, processes or products. They welcome ideas and learn from mistakes. And yes, they celebrate their successes but never stop asking, “how can we do this better?”

Why do so many companies reject change and keep doing the same thing?  Is it out of comfort? Arrogance? Ignorance? Perhaps even fear.

The Opponent of Progress: Complacency

Not all ideas are good ideas. But without considering a new approach to doing business, you will eventually flounder and be seen as quaint, or a dinosaur.  Look what happens when we are forced to innovate, be creative and problem solve – ideas flourish!

During the pandemic, for example, businesses ‘Hello Fresh’ and ‘Tonal’ – which provided meal kit deliveries and home workout equipment, respectively. They saw as a massive opportunity when Covid-19 hit. Why grocery shop when you can have all the ingredients for your meals, in precisely measured portions, delivered to your home? Why visit a gym or personal trainer when a single device can combine the two without requiring you to leave the house?

With an entirely new world as a backdrop, these companies saw a chance to disrupt – and shake up the way things have always been done. They have grown exponentially and changed consumer behavior.

‘Think Different’

Innovation doesn’t always start as a reaction to an unexpected need. Some of the best ideas come from seeing an opportunity or solving a problem. One of the best examples of this is Apple. While the company has experienced fits and starts over the years, it has very much stood by the advertising slogan for the first Macintosh computer: Think Different. Without that mindset and the constant focus pursuing the unexpected, the iPhone you’re likely reading this on might have never existed.

From today, see every day as an opportunity to experiment, innovate and explore; the processes and procedures of the past should inform, not limit, your businesses and creative decisions. The ‘best way’ to do something should always be challenged. Good intentions don’t necessarily make good business.

“A ship is safe in harbor, but that is not what a ship was built for.” – William Shedd, American theologian

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