April 27, 2009
Liz published this at 7:19 am
The stories on the top of Google Blog Search Business aren’t optimistic. They haven’t been for a while. Yet the predictions for social media, mobile and the growth of online advertising are huge. New jobs are being invented, described and defined, and invested in. New people are learning new skills to do them.
What happens to businesses that keep thinking “old think” when huge new opportunities are happening?
Saturday on Twitter, Dan Pancost offered these thoughts in response to my question.
@jazzlover: Those not willing to change with the times will still be hurting…. They’ll experience a lot of missed opportunities. Their businesses will probably begin a decline.
Adapting and changing to this new terrain is vital, thrilling, but not as simple as it seems.
Are You Trying to Fit Old Think into a Culture That’s New?
Past successes often inspire us to new things. It’s been said that “success breeds success.” But that isn’t always so. When we take on a new endeavor, we have to take on the new behaviors that will propel it up and forward. Yet, who hasn’t tried to use skills that made success in the past to build a future?
The old skills and perspectives don’t work when the culture and climate are new.
“Old think” businesses simply won’t prosper as much as the more flexible business thinkers and doers. Dan added later in the conversation. It would seem that most folks who read here would understand what Dan meant. I totally agree with what he said. We need to get out from under the burden of old thinking, to throw off old habits and thoughts to take on new ones.
But new thinking is dangerous too. I see signs of new thinking gone wrong every day. Here’s a few ways that thinking new can derail us just as horrendously.
- It’s a good idea because it’s new. We act as if our fluency with the new culture ourshines our lack of experience. It’s still a new culture. We do foolish things and have unfortunate ideas.
- Bye bathwater. Bye baby too! We turn our backs on what could still serve us well. Previous relationships and processes that have value get set aside. We take our new ideas out for a spin in our new environment, leaving safety nets and guideposts in a past life.
- Everyone’s doing it! Our values become those of the new culture without thought. We do what everyone is doing. We accept everyone’s rules.
Whatever the economy, whether you’re solo or CEO of a huge enterprise, the challenge is continuous. How do we keep the best of what we know and throw off what is no longer true?
Old think or new think nothing beats thinking things through.
Depending on where you sit in the social business world, I’m thinking you see people in danger of old think or in danger of new think. What advice do you have to offer the thinking business folks you know?
–ME “Liz” Strauss
Work with Liz!!