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23 April 2017

Time To Call it a Day“It’s how we’ve always done it.”

Is there any other phrase that could do more damage to your business? But we hear it all too often. I bet you’ve even said it at least once or twice.

Finding your way of doing business – your magic formula – is essential, but that doesn’t have to impact every single activity. The only guarantee in business is change. Every single moment of every day your industry, whatever that may be, is changing. Your customers are changing. You are always changing.

Take Wrigley’s for example. The chewing gum giant began in 1891 as a soap and baking powder retailer. Founder William Wrigley Jr began offering chewing gum as a freebie with the business’s products and before long, the gum was all that his customers wanted!

The Jones Family at Disney

Even Walt Disney had to change the way he did things!

“It’s how we’ve always done it.”

That phrase is a creativity killer. It’s resistant to new ideas and ways of thinking.

For almost 20 years, Tiffany, Young and Ellis was a stationer. Until in 1953 when Tiffany did something that wasn’t ‘the way they’d always done it’ and focussed the core business on jewellery – and the famous little blue-box brand was born.

“It’s how we’ve always done it,” isn’t alone. How about: “We tried it once and it didn’t work.”

Can you imagine trying email once back in the eighties and never trying it again??

Walt Disney tried being a creative once and was fired. He tried again and is now one of the most famous creatives in history. J.K Rowling tried to publish a novel and was rejected multiple times, she kept trying and is now one of our generation’s greatest writers.

Perhaps these phrases are why we’re seeing so many startups thrive and so many huge businesses struggle. Startups are small, they’re agile, and they don’t have a ‘way that they’ve always done it’. They are learning to find their way which makes them try harder to find new ideas, new ways of thinking and to stay responsive.

This agility is something we’ve always tried to keep at UKFast. I’m still learning how to maintain this as the businesses grows beyond 400 team members and across multiple locations.

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