We have all heard this phrase uttered many times in our personal lives and professional lives. While at times it does apply to some proven processes and protocols, it can be a wildly misused phrase and philosophy usually perpetuated by the given norms of a culture and with what people are comfortable. The dirty secret that most don’t want to talk about is that change is hard and most of us would prefer things to remain the same and be predictable because it is easier and requires less effort to learn new things and expand our understanding. “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” is probably one of the most recognizable cliches having to do with this concept. Change is inherently counter culture because it pushes people out of their comfort zones and most PEOPLE LIKE BEING COMFORTABLE! However, we have all also heard the inherent universal truth that the only constant in life is change itself.
This leads me to my main point that you can apply to both your professional life and personal life. I will focus mostly here on the professional. VARIETY IS THE SPICE OF LIFE! People as individuals and specifically as your customers are constantly craving it and so is the market place. The riskiest thing to do in the long run is to consistently play it safe in the short run. In other words, just because something is appealing to your customer base right now and is working does not mean it will work in the future. It actually almost certainly will NOT!
Whether thinking and strategizing about your your product, your service, or the experience you offer the world, there is a fine line between your brand (customer’s belief about you and who and what they think you are), making sure it is identifiable and consistent in the public’s mind and becoming stagnant and boreing in a sea of an ever evolving market place and world. IF YOU DON’T INNOVATE, OTHERS WILL! The results are that you will be left obsolete and irrelevant. You might have also heard the cliche, “That which got you here, will not get you there.” Mind you, I am not advocating for haphazardly going around destroying and scraping practices that are currently profitable and working. However, I promise you that which is working now will eventually break as everything does so you better start thinking about how to fix it now while it is working.
Innovation, Fresh, New, Ground Breaking, Envelope Pushing, Different, Variety & Disruptive should all be the battle cry for at least a sub set of every business and culture. You should have people in your organization figuratively thinking off how and when things “will break” and how to start planning the fix or “next thing” now. If you don’t have that, GET IT ASAP!!!