Have you noticed, when a new business is taking an industry by storm; more times than not, this upstart is led by a “nutty” outsider? This outsider does not follow industry norms and in fact they often do something that is considered “crazy”. Not best practices: CRAZY.
There is a temptation to dismiss these crazy new ideas and defend the proven approach used in your industry. The siren call goes something like this. The biggest in your industry do this, and this, and this other thing. This is how they became successful. This is the key to their success.
So…. this is what you should follow. This approach is supported by puffed up, high-priced consultants who repackage these observation as “best practices”.
Following best practices will make your business better. It will grow your business and make you more money. No doubt about it. The leaders are not dumb. So why do I stand against best practices?
I stand against best practices because it locks you into a way of thinking. It focuses you on your industry. It forces you into a constant game of follow the leader. You do not become the leader by following the leader. You do not defeat the leader by following their playbook. It is their playbook, and they are very good at it. They created it. Imagine if David decided to beat Goliath by becoming a better swordsman. Goliath was already the best in the land. David was not going to beat Goliath by fighting Goliath’s fight. David needed a new approach If you want to hear the David and Goliath story as a business story click here.
But, where can we find crazy ideas? Crazy ideas can come from frustrations experienced as a customer. Or from observing other industries. Or things seen in other countries. Sometimes it is a pressing business problem that is not easily solved by best practices. These crazy ideas create new business leaders. The irony is that your crazy new idea will eventually evolve into industry best practices. Your crazy idea will become the next best practice that gets paraded around the world by carnival barking consultants. The world will start chasing you. Do you want to be the dog other chase?
Time to get crazy.
Visit great restaurants. Travel to a place you have not been. Open your eyes and mind to new things. Don’t look at these businesses and say, “I am not in this business so I cannot do that”. Instead, ask the question “given I am not in this business how can I do that.” Let the crazy juices flow. If you come to Toronto, I will take you to a bar that will blow your mind. We will spend more money on a few drinks then we would be spent on a fine dinner. And, it is all about presentation. Once you have a few drinks in your belly we will then discuss the question “how can we apply what these guys are doing to your business.” The ideas will be crazy. The real question is – do you want to be the big dog?
Are you ready for crazy?