In 1347, the Bubonic Plague, or “Black Death” as it was commonly called, hit Europe and the population plummeted as people fell ill and died from this then mysterious disease. It was kind of a bummer.
While there’s no disease afflicting our physical health in the business world equivalent to the Black Death, there certainly seems to be a plague that spreads far and wide, indiscriminately killing off large, medium, and small companies without mercy. Few are immune to the deadly contagion, and those that are can do little to help save the infected.
The plague has several strains: the status-quo and tradition are just two. Grace Hopper, a pioneering computer scientist and U.S. Naval officer put it best when she said,
“The most dangerous phrase in the English Language is ‘We’ve always done it this way’.”
A surefire way to kill innovation, to arrest progress, and to murder growth is by sticking with how things are “just because”. Continuing processes and activities that work and are showing results or are proven effective is smart. Continuing processes and activities that are in practice because they’re “good enough” or have always been there is like hunting with spears instead of picking up your meat at the butcher’s. It just doesn’t make sense.
I once heard a story about a woman who cut off the ends of a pot roast before she cooked it. Her daughter asked her why she did that. She said it was because her mother had always done it that way. So the daughter asked her grandmother why she had always cut off the ends of the roast, and the grandmother said because her mother had always done it that way. So the daughter went to the great-grandmother and asked why she cut off the ends, and the great-grandmother said, because the pan they had was too small for the roast to fit.
Rather than focusing on keeping existing practices, The Alias Group works on identifying best practices and then augmenting them either with innovative approaches, modern technology, or fresh insights and hard work. Your role is simply to be open to the possibility that you’re holding on to ineffective solutions that waste resources and to understand that there is a better way to be profitable and grow.
Don’t get struck down by the plague of complacency; consider something new, like The Alias Group, as an antidote to mediocre business practices.