The Status Quo is a slow death
The Status Quo is a Latin Phrase that translates into; the current state of affairs. Depending on your current state, you might be satisfied with the status quo, or you might be looking for a way to make a change. Realistically, when looking at the big picture, there are parts of our day to day we might change and some we may want to stay the same. If we are talking about bettering ourselves as individuals, then the entire responsibility falls on us, but if we are talking about business, then we can crowd source ideas to move beyond the status quo. You are certainly familiar with crowd sourcing technology like GoFundMe.com. It’s a simple platform where you ask for money, and people give it to you. Crowd Sourcing ideas are similar, except you ask for ideas instead of money. Whether you are bettering yourself or bettering your business with the help of others, ultimately the decision falls on a few people, or even just one person to move it forward.
What happens when you don’t better your situation?
In your personal life, you can maintain the status quo and be just fine. As a business professional, if you do not better your situation, you and your company will die a slow death, and your competitors are the ones giving the thumbs up or the thumbs down (Gladiator Reference).
What if you had an entire team of people dedicated to researching new ideas?
Then you would have the same abilities as Facebook, Google, Amazon, and many other companies that have carved out their place in the Market and protect themselves with an army of think tanks. When a young promising software engineer does well in school, he is picked up by one of the larger companies, offered a huge salary, and the rest of us are stuck with each other. Imagine if you had a department of wide-eyed, motivated people that were chomping at the bit to discover the next great product that will cement their spot as a great innovator!
I don’t have a team of researchers, now what?
Compared to the companies I mentioned, you likely don’t have a dedicated team of researchers focused on improving every aspect of your business. However, you do have people, including yourself. For a company like Facebook, they need a lot of people testing new ideas not monthly, not weekly, but daily. For most of us, we just need to identify areas that we can improve on, and move the needle forward weekly to some degree. Realizing new ideas could be as simple as sending out an email once a week that asks for them. Really. Just ask for them. With all of the new technology that exists today, I am often surprised when I don't realize something could be easily implemented and beneficial has existed for three years! My surprise can turn to frustration when I realize my competitors have been using something similar and someone on my team knew about it, but clearly I did not communicate that this would be great information to have. The “someone on my team” who brought me a new idea, was an assistant.
The strength of an idea is not dictated by Rank or title. I figured this out when I was a young executive begging everyone around me to listen to my ideas (even if they were bad). Was that assistant a typical researcher? No. Were they a good assistant? No. They were not supposed to respond to the email in the first place, but I’m glad they did. It reminds me to take a step back and be opened minded when it comes to new ideas that might work well for us.
Whether you are enjoying the status quo, or you are looking to better your situation, taking small steps today will be beneficial later. You have to imagine that your competitors are already doing that. If they continue to improve, then your contentment will be a slow death as you struggle to keep up. If my competitors and myself are all hoping that an assistant team member will step up and help move the company forward, we are gambling. If I take a few small steps every week to focus on improvments, we are winning.
Feel free to shoot me an email Derek@cmg.ms if you have any questions at all; Professional, business or casual.