The nine most frustrating words I hear from business leaders is, “That is the way we have always done it.”
What this really means to me is, “I am not willing to explore or consider alternative options because that would require extra effort and energy.”
An organization may have a good solution, but that doesn’t mean it’s THE right solution and certainly doesn’t mean it’s the only solution.
My leadership mentor says, “No idea is perfect. No matter how good it is, it can be improved.”
When someone tells you, “That is the way we have always done it,” ask them three questions to challenge that thinking. Say, “That’s great,” (followed by)
- “How could you make it even better?”
- “Do you believe it will work well in the future?”
- “How long will it serve as the world continues to change?”
When you ask the right questions, you trigger curiosity, challenge the status quo and push for growth.
I believe that complacency is one of the root characteristics of average businesses.
As author Roger von Oech stated, “Almost every advance in art, cooking, medicine, agriculture, engineering, marketing, politics, education, and design has occurred when someone challenged the rules and tried another approach.”
Abundant thinkers believe they can and will create new and better ideas. (Photo: iStock)
This phrase, “That is the way we have always done it,” highlights the mindset of scarcity thinking. Scarcity thinking is the mindset that there are only a fixed number of ideas and resources available.