I work for a company that thinks it’s super innovative and fresh. It’s not. The powers that be seem to think a sound strategy is simply doing more of what worked 20 years ago. Any brilliant ideas on telling them their requests are BS?
– Wannabe Time Traveler
Dear WTT –
When I hear of things like this I can’t help but think of the old Dana Carvey, George Bush Saturday Night Live sketches (stay the course), however that was way back in the 80’s which was probably before your time, but suffice to say that was when SNL was actually good.
But, even today there are many examples of how staying the course isn’t the smartest decision. For some examples, see Kodak (who?) or others you may be familiar with like Yahoo or RIM, both of which were featured in today’s post by one of my favs Steve Tobak.
One of the major problems with larger, well established companies is that they don’t bring in fresh talent. Senior management tends to hire their buddies because they have experience and reflect similar values. However, in many cases what’s needed in companies that are floundering (RIM) is something/someone with fresh ideas. You don’t get that by sticking with the same mold.
Related-this is one of the major problems with politicians today as well – see how I’ve come full circle here in that if you watch that SNL sketch you’ll see that effectively nothing has changed in the past 20+ years.
But, that’s neither here nor there for your problem at hand. I think you have two choices:
1) Buck the trend and be unique. Show how your ideas will work. Go out on a limb. Prove to them that being fresh isn’t something that will ever come from having the same old turkey with swiss and mayo sandwich catered lunch meeting food. Show them that you’ve gotta have sushi (after all sushi that isn’t fresh…ugh is shudder to think). Show that the first way to grow old and die is to think old. Be a leader. Be you and be bold. But, also have a current resume ready…just in case.
2) Be a sheep and follow the heard off the cliff like those at Kodak.
Now if it isn’t obvious, I’m hungry and I’m off to find something other than a turkey sandwich.