Abandon Tradition for Success


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Tradition has the uncanny knack of making you do the same thing repeatedly with the conviction that it is right in every circumstance.

Today companies need to change and grow rapidly breaking traditional ways of doing business and taking risks to do it differently. From management down to the frontline, everyone has to stop thinking and saying, “this is the way we’ve always done things”. 

In 2000 Nokia held almost 30% of the global marketshare for mobile handsets. They refused to change their business strategy, opting to stay blinkered to the importance of software innovation and the potential of applications. They realized their mistake and made a few futile attempts at changing track to gain back lost ground. But it was too little, too late. The company’s phone and tablet business was bought over by Microsoft in April, 2014.

All companies are built on risk. Every established company you see today has at one time started out by being different, innovative and taking risks. So why can’t they keep doing it?

Fear. The fear of losing all that has been built, on a game of chance. When starting out, a business ahs nothing to lose. Once established, the stakes are high, and some just don’t have the stomach for the risk. But that is the way forward, because Risk is nothing but finding innovative ways of doing business. There may be with no surety of the out come, but it is driven by the conviction and determination of the people involved.

Yet, no one likes to concede their fear of the unknown, so inaction is very conveniently pinned on tradition; the way things are always done. This fear has taken many companies to the brink of disaster and beyond.

Apple went through some trying times after Steve Jobs left the company the first time. Jobs, in one of his interviews mentioned that Gil Amelio, the interim CEO, viewed Apple as a ‘ship with a great big hole in the bottom and I have to just point it in the right direction’. Fortunately Steve Jobs was back in Apple and able to salvage the situation and it today is one of the most path-breaking companies with it’s innovations, or ‘risks’ taken by Jobs.

Tony Hsieh, the CEO of Zappo, recently changed the operating structure of his business to a new innovative one known as Holacracy. It was done with one open email to all his employees on March 24th 2015. This new operating structure, which is based on equally privileged employees working in task-specific areas that often overlap, completely does away with hierarchy. It’s a bold move that can jeopardize the company or lift it to even dizzier heights. It’s a move away from tradition in the vision of changing for the better.

To keep in step with the rapidly changing landscape of business CXOs of established companies require the sagacity and courage to see innovative changes not as risks, but as opportunities to innovate. The same way that an opportunity was snapped up, when the company started out.

The only way to keep growing is to look at every new day and opportunity as your first. Seize it, and make the most of it. Keep doing things differently; keep taking risks.

And if you’re a real stickler for tradition, make it “Change”.

Ref: http://ow.ly/Q5xmN

Image: Norway’s Eskil Ronningsbakken known for his physical feats of balance http://ow.ly/Q5ETq

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Sunil Panikker
Sunil Panikker is a business consultant specializing in customer service, operations and business strategy. He has honed his expertise over 30 years of experience, working in senior management positions, with companies having global footprints, and responsibilities that have been cross-functional & multi-locational. His blog shares the experience and expertise assimilated from managing customer experience across multiple diverse industries.


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