While some people may like the idea of death by chocolate, most would probably agree that killing the success of a business with ineffectual approaches is a really bad idea. Unfortunately, that’s what’s happening in many companies across the globe. While the use of Repetitive Practices in their businesses may not close the doors, they are hampering the achievement of their tremendous potential.
What is a Repetitive Practice? It is an inefficient method or routine that is often the way things have always been done. Repetitive practices are all too common and are the cause of or a contributor to most of the challenges faced by companies of all sizes.
How do you spot these? Watch for one or more of the following indicators:
- A process that achieves less than the intended result.
- Beloved or institutionally sacred methodologies that people fight to keep, even when these methods have lost their competitive edge.
- Any routine that is complex, requiring constant reminders of what to do and how to do it.
- A system, procedure, or course of action that people defend by saying, “But that’s the way it’s always been done.”
- All ways of doing things that are the same after a maximum of two to three years (business and the market have evolved but processes lag behind).
A recent example involves a client in my Executive Advisor program that improved sales tenfold in just three months. Their repetitive practice of Sales Force, a sales process that attempts to control the client, was replaced by Sales Flow, a collaborative way of selling that engages the customer in selling themselves on buying. Sales Flow takes less effort, creates happier buyers, and is the current Innovative Practice that enrolls people in a more satisfying process for acquiring what they need and want. This increases sales, profits, customer satisfaction, and repeat business.
In order to achieve greater success without ridiculous amounts of effort, Repetitive Practices must be replaced with Best Practices and Innovative Practices (you can read more on how to innovate in my post Putting Lipstick on a Pig and Calling It Innovation).
Some leaders treat their companies, or aspects of them, as finished products versus living, breathing, evolving entities. I bet they’re the ones medicating themselves with chocolate instead meditating on better ways of doing business.
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