“If you do what you have always done, you will get the results you have always gotten.”
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result – True or False?
What’s wrong with the statement, “If you do what you have always done, you will get the results you have always gotten” and the above definition of insanity?
Doing what you have always done will not get the results you have always gotten. Why? The universe, the world we live in is changing too fast for that to be true.
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting the same result. Why? Because the world we are living in is changing so fast that standard operating procedures of the past, “best practices” of the past, “industry norm,” “knowns,” are no longer true.
As one client put it, “Our philosophy, ‘Get ’er done. Do whatever it takes,’ the motto we have lived by for 25 years, will no longer work.”
In other words, what got us here won’t get us there! A strength taken to excess becomes a weakness. What was a strength, a competitive advantage, could be your Achilles heel today.
Your best practices of yesterday could be your worst practices, your greatest weakness today. Keep in mind as I’m stating these possibilities, that I’m only saying “could be.” You have to see if the shoe fits.
- the best practice of being loyal to employees who have been loyal to you, even though their performance is substandard, even though they are chasing away customers, other employees, and driving you nuts
- the best practice of hiring inexperienced, untrained novices and training them your way
- the best practice of hiring outside experts who bring all the benefit of their background experience and their network of friends
- the best practice of always promoting from within
- the best practice of leveraging every asset to the maximum, using every resource to continuously expand
- best practice of keeping far more cash in reserve than is customary
- the best practice of having the most up-to-date equipment and technology
- the best practice of buying used equipment at bankrupt sales prices, and making it work
- the best practice of having more turns on your inventory than anyone in your industry
- the best practice of buying other businesses which complement your enterprise
- the best practice of operating lean and mean, and having minimum staff at all times
The following are most easily seen in the manager who has had their first or second promotion and is now charged with the responsibility of getting results through others:
- the best practice of being the hardest worker
- the best practice of being hands-on
- the best practice of delving into all the details of every project
- the best practice of putting in extra hours
- the best practice of knowing all the answers / having all the answers
Anything on the above list can easily and often does get in the way of outstanding performance for the manager who must now learn to let go and empower others, must learn to get results through others who are not as dedicated, hardworking, enthusiastic, innovative, “bought in,” engaged, loyal and determined.
Do you see how, as times change, former ways of doing th ings that were at one time best practices, could be the path to ruin?
So what do you change and what do you leave alone? If Montgomery Wards, Smith Corona, Kodak, Packard Automobiles, and Indian Motorcycle, all at one time standards for their industries, knew the answer, they would still be in business today. The truth is that you need an outsider’s eyes to see what you can’t see. This may be the only way to open your blind spots.