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  • Writer's pictureBurk Moreland

Status Quo In Business: The Kiss of Death

This week begins a new series, I like to call: 7 Easy Ways to Kill Your Business. This week, let’s talk about the good ‘ol Status Quo. The most dangerous phrase in language is, “we’ve always done it this way.”

I saw this sign recently and it reminded me of a story about an experiment with a pigeon I read about. (Note: I do not condone animal cruelty or experiments, but this is a powerful context to create with you.) 

A pigeon was put in a box and food was dropped on the other end. The pigeon walked across the box and ate the food. They did this for several weeks. Next, they electrified certain areas of the floor of the box. They dropped in the pigeon and the food and as the pigeon took a step forward, he would get zapped. He tried a slightly different route and got zapped again. They did this for a few days. Finally, they put the pigeon in the box with no electricity in the floor and dropped the food in again. The pigeon sat looking at the food and didn’t move. Finally, he starved. 

Apply this to your business. If something doesn’t work you should never try it again, right? The old status quo is everything. Change is the enemy. Change is for those people chasing you, not you. They need to adapt and overcome, you are the leader, and your business is doing well. Changing would be silly!

If your business is performing well, why improve it? 

I am sure you are running at peak capacity with no room for improvement. Tweaking processes, training team members, all those things that onlystruggling teams do. A good leader keeps his team focused on doing things just like they always have so that they will achieve the same exact results. Einstein’s definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. I am sure that is how he discovered the theory of relativity.

If you are still reading this, you are either very confused, laughing out loud, or maybe even a bit angry. If it is the last option, you can certainly continue on in your business as you have been, but know that the status quo is a death sentence for your company. It may be a long, slow and painful death, but it will happen. 

Over 50% of small business fail in the first 5 years. ~Source (take a look at #8)

Change is the only constant in life. We can either embrace that as the opportunity it is, or bury our head in the sand and ignore it. The most successful people I know embrace change and are constantly seeking knowledge and new ways to make things happen. What are you doing to be sure you are one of them? 

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