Thursday, March 29, 2012

Tradition in Business is Like... Pumpkins!?

How do traditions in businesses impede the creative atmosphere required for today’s new economy? The need for innovation and change is nothing new; in fact, it is at the helm of business throughout much history, but the need for innovation in today’s new economy is more crucial than ever. However, successful businesses aren’t necessarily the ones that have eliminated all traditions; the harm possible from traditions in businesses may well be illustrated by the following story:

“Each Halloween we all rush to the pumpkin patch and then proceed to carve the same way. We cut the lid off the top, make a huge mess while scooping out the filling, and burn ourselves as we try to place the lit candle down the hole.
"Why not carve from the bottom?"
Think about it: Carve a hole in the bottom, and the mess comes out easily using gravity to your advantage. You now get to enjoy an original design feature of the pumpkin—the handle on top—for transportation. When lighting, place the candle on the carved base and then gently place the pumpkin over the top—no more second degree burns. If you stop to think about it, this is pretty much the ideal way to complete the task.”

The easier way to carve the pumpkin is clear, the problem is that most of us never stop to think about it! In our business lives, we follow routine with blinders on, refusing to challenge conventional thinking. We assume the status quo to be correct, and in doing so miss the opportunity to use creativity to drive progress. Don't let you or your business get stuck doing something the harder way because of a tradition or program--let your creative minds always be challenging processes in a healthy way that will cultivate an atmosphere of innovation, improvement, and success.

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