Let’s Try Something Different

It’s been very cold throughout most of the U.S. recently. Undoubtedly people are resorting to a variety of methods to stay warm. Most of these are the tried and true; turning up the heat, putting a fire in the fireplace, using a space heater, wearing more layers of clothes, etc. The point is, very few people consider other alternatives, mainly because these methods have worked well in the past. But suppose the power is out so your heating system and space heater are not working, you don’t have a fireplace, and you don’t want to wear multiple layers of clothing. What would you do? I recently read a short article on an alternative and simple heating method. I won’t go into the details here. Whether this alternative actually works, I don’t know. Whether it does or not and exactly what is the method are both are irrelevant to this post. What is relevant is the willingness to try something different and perhaps previously un-thought of. What if what you’ve been doing no longer works? What should you do?

We’ve Always Done It This Way

This is a common idea that we have all had to deal with at some point. Face it; some people just don’t like change, even if it is clear something has to change. But without change it is difficult if not impossible to make progress. So, when you find yourself thinking this way, take a moment to see if your discomfort with change is a bigger problem than the change itself. You must be willing to try something different.

When Will It Break?

You’ve undoubtedly heard the saying, “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it” and perhaps the alternative, “If it ain’t broke it will be.” Putting aside the improper English, which one of these statements most closely reflects reality? You may think the first one, but I suggest to you that is a way of wearing blinders to avoid seeing the truth. No process we put in place will last forever. Something eventually will come along that is better, rendering your existing process broken. The same is true with products. Not many cars use a carburetor anymore since fuel injection proved far superior. The post office has experienced the significant impact of email. We could go on, but the point is, everything we create eventually will be replaced by something better. This is true in business as in the rest of life. Processes, products, and services are all subject to the pressures of a changing market place. Your company either recognizes that reality and is willing to try something different or eventually becomes irrelevant. For more thoughts on this see If It Ain’t Broke It Will Be

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” – Albert Einstein

What about you, your company and your employees? Is change willingly embraced or is there just a lot of push-back in an attempt to maintain the status quo?

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As always, your comments are welcomed.


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