I was listening to the Zig Ziglar Show on the way home tonight Episode 481 with Mark Sanborn and had to pause when I heard the following statement which resonated so much with previous blogs I have written on the topic of BAU.
Mark quoted Joe Calloway as saying “Success means you only know what worked yesterday”. He also quoted Seth Godin’s ‘Stuck Winning Model’. He said “A company or an individual does something and it works and because it works, they do more of it. And they keep doing it because it works, until one day it stops working as well. So what do they do? They do more of it. It’s kind of like, WOW it’s not working as well, we’d better double our efforts, instead of saying, maybe it isn’t going to work going forward and maybe we need to try something else.”
He went on to say that maybe why people get stuck, is success, because on the one hand you don’t want to jeopardise it. We’re doing OK. I don’t want to bet the farm, I don’t want to roll the dice, but on the other hand, if we keep doing what we’ve done, sooner or later we’re going to get supplanted.
Therein lies my problem with so many businesses from taxis to bookstores to music stores. Remember Sounds Music? Unfortunately their leading light passed away and they lost their way. Remember Real Groovy (for the Kiwi readers)? They bought in container loads of vinyl that no one wanted in the UK and shipped them to New Zealand.
Guess what? People still want to buy records, in fact they can’t get enough of them and they often pay more for them than CD’s even though Spotify, Pandora, Apple, iHeartRadio and many more are offering unlimited music to your phone for freemium or a low price.
I still maintain that Borders could still be viable too, they just needed to adjust their business model and not to selling soft toys, but then that’s just my opinion.
Boards who try to squeeze the lifeblood of an existing model just because it has worked really frustrate me. You have to keep reinventing yourself and you have to listen to your customers. I mean really listen, not assume you know what they are saying, because often what they are saying, or what you think you are hearing, is not what they mean.
It’s like the car park companies that thought they were destinations and taxi companies who thought they were chauffeurs. Anyway, I was motivated to blog tonight after hearing the same story again on a great podcast. So are you going to do the same thing tomorrow as you have done for the last 5 years?
Good luck with that.