Fire The Status Quo Police
Adam Hartung, 09.08.10, 06:00 PM EDT
Their power to prevent innovation can devastate your business.
“That’s not how we do things around here.” How often have you heard that? And what does it really mean? It is said to stop someone from doing something new. It is no way to promote innovation, is it?”
That’s the lead paragraph to my latest column on Forbes.com, published yesterday evening. Forbes launched a new editorial page covering Change Management, and gave my column’s link the premier placement!
All companies want to grow. But early in the lifecycle they Lock-in on what works, and then implement Status Quo Police that intentionally do not allow anything to change. Their belief is that if nothing changes, the business will always grow. So conformance to historical norms is more important than results to them. To Status Quo Police results will return when conformance to old norms is returned!
Of course, this completely ignores the marketplace. Market shifts, created by competitors launching new technologies, new pricing models, new delivery models or other new solutions cause the value of old solutions to decline. No matter how well you do what you always did, you can’t achieve historical results. The market has shifted!
To keep any company growing you must know who the Status Quo Police are in your organization. They can be in HR, controlling hiring, promotions and pay. In Finance controlling what projects receive resources. In Marketing, tightly controlling branding, product development or distribution. The Status Quo Police are committed to keeping things tightly controlled, and saving the organization from change that could send the company in the wrong direction! No matter what the marketplace may require.
But it’s not enough to know who the Status Quo Police are, its up to leaders to eliminate them! If you want to have a vibrant, profitably growing organization you have to constantly adjust to market shifts. You have to sense what the market wants, and move to deliver it. You have to be very wary of the Status Quo, and instead be open to making changes in order to grow. To do that, you have to hold those who would be the Status Quo Police in check. Otherwise, you’ll find the obstacles to innovation and growth overwhelming!
Please read the article at Forbes, review it and comment! Let me know what you think!