I found this headline in a book, “The Circle of Innovation” by Tom Peters (He happens to be one of my favorite business authors). In this book he tells the following story: “when the electric entrepreneurs arrived on the scene, circa 1880, they clearly had a (much) better idea. The gas-lighting monopolies awoke from a long, complacent slumber and they went to work. To get into electric lighting? Hardly! They strove to make gas lighting more efficient. Their ploy paid off (for a fairly long while); many of the early electric-lighting entrepreneurs bit the dust. But the inevitable was, well, inevitable. As the electric boys’ efficiencies increased, the big comeback of the gas gang proved to be nothing more than a blip, a last flicker.”
How true this statement is. I encounter it every day when talking to business owners as well as executives who have been unemployed for a long period of time. Many of these business types acknowledge that change is occurring at a rapid pace, but they only see the change in technology, not in how to run and grow a business.
Everything from time management skills, to office systems and procedures, and basic marketing are still operating in systems that have not changed for years.
Whether you are trying to grow a profitable business or looking for a good job, you have to realize that everything is not the same as it was last year. In my opinion, the business operating structure has to change. Methods that were used ten years ago will not survive in the future.
I find it very frustrating when business seminars, educational offerings, books, etc are all offering the same thing that was taught for the last several generations. They are “polishing the old apple” and hoping for different results.
Constant re-invention of business methods, as well as our own business lives, is the new path to success. I like the word “innovation”! I challenge all to step out of your comfort zones and I dare you to develop or to adopt new business growth methods. I see glimmers of hope as this new business trend is gaining some momentum. Like the old gas companies, many businesses will have their light turned off for failure to adopt innovation as their motto.
The greatest difficulty in the world is not for people to accept new ideas, but to make them forget about old ideas. John Maynard Keynes, economist
Nick J. Petra CFP At Strategic Duck we lead with innovation through our innovative consulting and coaching systems. firstname.lastname@example.org 602-989-1592