We Have Always Done It That Way

Slightly paraphrasing Rear Admiral Grace Hopper, I claim that the most dangerous words in business are ‘we have always done things that way’.

There are good reasons, why various experts and ‘gurus’ around the globe declare that change is the only constant thing in life and of course also in business. Surely, one of these reasons is the fact that one can make good money from writing books or doing consulting on this topic. But this does not diminish the overall validity of the statement.

Personally, I am rather sick and tired of hearing this phrase (or one very much like it) whenever the slightest change even just threatens to appear on the horizon. Similarly, what’s the point of having a discussion about the future, when people keep bringing up how it used to be done and what the original idea was?

‘Survival of the fittest’ and all that. Darwin figured it out in 1859. How can it be that so many people don’t grasp that concept in the 21st century?

We get it. Back then, someone (perhaps you) decided to do something in a certain way. It might well be that this was the perfect approach at the time. Now – weeks, months, years or decades later – circumstances have changed and if one (perhaps you) wants to survive or even – dare I say it – improve, one has to adapt. ‘Survival of the fittest’ and all that. Darwin figured it out in 1859. How can it be that so many people don’t grasp that concept in the 21st century?

And who knows? It might even be that your initial decision was not so brilliant after all and the fear of change made you stick to it and suffer from it much longer than necessary.

Picture from https://despair.com/collections/demotivators

So please spare me and more importantly your business this attitude. Move away from the cozy pink memories of a glorious past and focus on creating a better future by recognizing the need for change and then embracing it as something good and necessary.

First, constantly monitor your business and – hoping you have them – your Key Performance Indicators. Be sensitive to disruptions and sensible in your reactions to them. Second, look ahead, try to predict what is coming and prepare for it.

In a nutshell

  • Analyze carefully.
  • Have no fear.
  • Decide swiftly.
  • Execute Professionally.

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Comments (1)

I couldn’t agree more . Adapt or perish…

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