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Get It Right The First Time: Common Doesn’t Cut It

Post Series: Business

We’ve all heard the saying, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

I’m sure we can all agree that insanity has no place in business, especially when leaders are expected to recognize, shoulder, and effect change that brings company profits, productivity, and esprit de corps to a higher level.  Hard to do?  Certainly!  Impossible?  Not at all.  However, to do this, and do it right the first time, you have to step outside of what’s comfortable and common and look for those diamonds in the rough, yes, those visionaries who have original ideas about the future with a plan to match and who possess sensitive insight and acute judgment.  Why?  Because common just doesn’t cut it.

So, what gets us into that rut of decision making that is typical and lacks distinction?  Being comfortable with who we know and what we know (or what we think we know) and fearing what is different and unique.  And yet, in today’s climate of sameness, different and unique is king. For example, for decades, consumers trekked back and forth to department stores, superstores, warehouses, and other brick and mortar establishments to purchase goods and services.  And then what happened?  In one word …. AMAZON.  Amazon came along and turned the way consumers make their purchases on its head, and they currently have a substantial amount of consumers’ time, attention, and dollars, along with economists, politicians, and competitors.  Yes, everyone is watching and paying attention to Amazon.  Did they get it right?  YES!  Because common just doesn’t cut it anymore.

Here are 3 things that decision makers can do to ensure that they get it right the first time and go for cultured – not common:

  1. Outsource your talent search.  Oftentimes, we (and our direct reports) are too close to a group or situation that we cannot take an objective view of things no matter how hard we try. And, guess what?  That’s normal; it happens.  But, again, if you’re looking to move the needle financially, economically and socially in your organization you have to bring in a new pair of business eyes to accurately assess your current and potential talent, among other things.
  2. Learn the business and the culture from frontline staff.  There’s something to be said about executives who roll up their sleeves and meet and greet the people who are doing the actual work that’s keeping the business …. in business.  Yes, those professionals who take the time to sit with the employees (employees that they choose to engage with, not employees that are handpicked by others) – without an entourage – to get their insight and perspective on things.  This will require time, energy, willpower, and lots of effort.  But, hey, doing extraordinary things often does, doesn’t it?
  3. Be measured and resist the tendency to go with the status quo.  Being thoughtful, careful, and calculated allows you to make well-balanced decisions and puts your employees on notice that the leader is watching and is astute to any undercurrent operation.  Now for many, it is human nature to settle in to what already exists.  Most of us don’t want to go against the grain and disrupt things.  But, once again, if the goal is to bring a company into the future TODAY, you have to  be a visionary and make revolutionary decisions.

So, get it right the first time, avoid the repeat cycle of insanity and go for (and be) different and unique.  You won’t regret it in the long run and neither will your employees.

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