People would prefer to engage in activity that preserves the status quo rather than pursue something new because the status quo is safer and proven. One can expend as little effort as is needed, and try to extract the biggest benefit from what’s been done previously, taking comfort and security in knowing there’s an established precedent for achieving success. Often people will do what’s been done and hope that no-one notices it’s the same. They prefer a proven path rather than blaze a new trail. The result is often an old product, packaged in a new box, with lots of time and effort spent on promotion.
Why is this considered the way to go? Because we’re in an “era of pushback.”
What’s that? It’s the scenario where your boss wants to maintain profits and do so without risking anything. That boss will push back on anything new that you might want to try because their focus is on next quarter’s and year’s numbers.
What explanations are given?
- The opportunity cost of investing time and money on something new means you’re not investing in what’s already proven to work.
- There’s a possibility that whatever new endeavor is being contemplated just won’t work.
- You won’t make your numbers and anything that jeopardizes the numbers must be avoided.
- This new idea that you’re proposing? Nobody but you, gets it.
Far worse than any of the above, is if you feel the company culture dictates that if you fail you’ll be punished somehow.
Attempting anything new is hard. Many will falter at the first obstacle. But the good news is that if you’re not stymied by the ‘barriers of no’ you will reap the rewards. Why? Because you’ll be exploring new opportunities when others won’t dare. Even if you ‘fail’, you’ll have developed the habits associated with creation, overcoming obstacles, and innovation. That predisposition is the prerequisite for exploiting new opportunities or, better yet, actually creating those opportunities.
Unlike your competition, who are selling last year’s product, perhaps with a new name….
Go get ‘em, Tiger!