Leon Wahler shares new insights into the advantages of challenging the status quo in business and innovation.
When I was a student, I had a summer job at a summer camp.
During the pre-camp open house, I was giving some of the parents of our campers a tour of the facilities.
As we passed by the waterfront, one of the mothers said: “I hope my Freddy learns to swim this summer, but don’t let him go near the water.”
Fast forward a few years, and I’m sitting in a marketing strategy meeting hearing a director of marketing saying: “I want to hear some real out-of-the-box ideas, but let’s not forget to focus on what got us here.”
Too many people and enterprises want to get seen as disruptors, but they are afraid of disruption.
Disrupting the status quo or thinking outside the box takes people outside of their comfort zone.
It’s much easier and more comfortable to go with the flow:
“Let’s stick with what’s tried and true.”
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
“Let’s not rock the boat.”
“We have to focus on our core competencies.”
“This has always worked for us.”
Many companies pay lip-service to innovation but fall back to their usual routines, choosing stability over risk.