Don’t Let Routine Kill Your Business

In the course of everyday business, it’s easy to develop a stagnant  perspective. As a line manager, you might begin to obsess over the bottom line, losing sight of what else might matter to the organization. As a project manager, you might begin to obsess on hitting certain deadlines and staying under budget.  

So how can your organization break out of the routine and step away from a myopic perspective? At Adapt Consulting, this is a question that we think about constantly. Here are just a few of our ideas… 

Quit obsessing over the bottom line 

Let’s start with that focus on the bottom line. For different people that means different things – but it usually has to do with meeting a sales quota for the quarter, or meeting some other kind of financial target. But great companies don’t focus solely on the quarterly grind. 

Take, for example, the tech company Evernote. The company’s CEO, Phil Libin, has talked widely in business publications like Fast Company about his desire to create a “100-year-old startup.” Think about that for a moment. At a time when most companies think only about the next quarter or the next fiscal year, he’s talking about taking the really long view. What should your company look like 100 years from now? Asking that question will help to frame today’s issues in a very different way. 

Encourage employees to pursue side gigs and passion projects 

Another way to step away from the myopic perspective is to cultivate a certain type of employee. This is the employee who is passionate about things other than work. This might mean people who enjoy volunteering on weekends, or people who enjoy training for marathons when they get back from the office. People who are passionate about other things in their life bring a certain kind of infectious energy to the office.  

Once work turns into a “grind,” that’s when people start to embrace the myopic perspective. They start framing their entire day in terms of, “What do I have to do to meet this one goal?” That’s bad news for creativity and innovation, since anything that’s tangential to the major goal at stake is routinely ignored. 

Look for creative ideas in adjacent industries and sectors 

It’s natural for, say, a construction company to think of itself solely as a “construction company.” But the reality is that, in today’s fast-moving economy, the boundaries between industries and sectors are starting to blur. A narrow mindset will impede your future success. Your competition is taking cues from other industries, shouldn’t you? For example, under pressure from a shrinking skilled employee base, contractors are learning from best practices in both manufacturing and technology. Contractors are applying a spin on Lean and Agile concepts in the field and offsite. Prefabrication of construction assemblies improves quality while reducing the quantity of skilled trades necessary. 

That’s why the Talks at Google are so fascinating. These Google talks are similar to TED Talks – except that Google brings these speakers directly to Google HQ. The company fully expects its employees to hear different perspectives – and not just on coding, software or technology. Check out the YouTube page for Google Talks – you’ll see inventors, authors, actors, artists and filmmakers. Want to stop the myopia in your company – let them hear from people who are informed, creative and innovative. Watch how their thinking changes once they are empowered to think in new ways. 

Ready to revolutionize your business?

If you really want to get off the proverbial hamster wheel of the business world, you need to be fearless about letting new and creative ideas flourish. And you need to take specific steps to get people to think long-term and to think about how their work cuts across industries and sectors. Not sure how to get started? We can help. Talk to an Improvement Strategy Expert who can help you realize, flesh out, and implement strategies that will set you apart. Click here to get started.

Quote of the Day:

“Life is only as good as your mindset.”

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