Breaking the Business Mold

You’ve probably heard some version of any or all of these statement, “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it” or “If it’s not broken, it will be” and finally “If it’s not broken, break it.” The important thing is that we examine these statements and see just how relevant they really are. Fundamentally all of these are about Breaking the Business Mold, but just what does that mean?

If It’s Not Broken, Don’t Fix It

On the surface this statement seems to make complete sense. We might ask, “If everything is working as planned, why would we want to fix it?” Well, perhaps the word fix is what misleads us. True, something may not need to be fixed right now, but we should be careful not to let this cause us to become complacent. Things will change and it makes complete sense to look ahead and implement changes to address what we see coming down the road. I discussed this in some detail in Is Your Business Stuck in the Past?

If It’s Not Broken, It Will Be

Actually, there is some validity to this, but not in the way it would seem to indicate. It is true that some things will go wrong or changes will make the way we’ve always done it no longer as effective. That is not, however, breaking whatever it is. It simply means that no product or process will last forever in business. Just as the buggy whip business is not what it was, we can likewise anticipate that products that currently are popular may well face a similar fate. As in the previous section, this is really just a reason to be deliberate in looking ahead and anticipating coming changes so that we are not caught by surprise.

If It’s Not Broken, Break It

The tendency here is ask, “If something is working, why would I want to deliberately break it?” This is a misunderstanding of the intent of this advice. Like the two previous sayings, this is more about examining what would happen if we change the way we do things or alter our product or service offerings. For example, many retailers were caught flat footed by the internet and the growth of E-commerce. They thought their existing model was working just fine, but was it really? That doesn’t mean everything necessarily must change, but when we observe this kind of paradigm shifts, we need to seriously consider dismantling our existing model and see if we need to add some tweaks that will keep us competitive.

What About You?

Are you staying on top of changes in the business world when it comes to such things as new products and services or new ways of doing business? Are you consistently looking ahead to develop an informed idea as to what will break so that you get a jump on fixing things before they blindside you? If necessary, are you Breaking the Business Mold?

If you want to know more, contact AimCFO – Contact

As always, your comments are welcomed.

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