Three Silly Things Most Business Do: Part 1

The list of things that people complain about in business these days is long. Very long. Pointless meetings, open workspaces, middle management lacking direction, websites that automatically play music, and so on.

Even though we could fill a book with complaints about the world of work and business, in my opinion only some of these silly things actually matter. Those are the ones I choose to focus on, because if they get fixed, it could mean the difference between success and failure of an entire business.

In the interest of helping more great businesses NOT fail, I’ve identified three “silly things” I see over and over. Let’s go through them one at a time, and I’ll explain why they matter in the end.

Stupid Thing #1: Extreme Caution and Budgeting Only for What “Works”

The world is unpredictable. We know this. Just accept it. You’re going to make mistakes.

Extreme caution and lack of experimentation in business is a problem, because this attitude is how you become the next Blockbuster. Or the next Borders. Or the next Sears. Or any of the businesses that didn’t survive a disruptive technology, as Clayton Christensen so thoroughly explains in his many books and lectures.

In my 21 years of doing what I do, I’ve seen things get worse. Have you? Most businesses still operate on slow cycles, budgeting on a quarterly or yearly basis. And while I understand that you do need to save money somewhere in order to invest in other areas, no one seems to be experimenting – unless you are the disruptor. There’s less room for testing something, because most of the budget goes into something that’s considered to be working. Is it working? Likely yes, but is it sustainable and will this way continue to work next quarter or next year?

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