Get past feeling intimidated

When envisioning innovations that could scale to be a significant game changer, it's easy to become intimidated by the incumbent system. The way things have always been done has become huge and very capable of squashing any little start-up. It's practices are culturally accepted and unquestioned by a majority of customers, journalists and opinion leaders. It's legacy gives it momentum to continue doing what it has always done. There is usually a long history of its own failed reforms, change efforts and attempts as enterprise transformation that prove it will never change. All that can add up to a self-defeating attitude among those hoping to innovate outside the box.

There are several reasons to take heart and dismiss the intimidating evidence. Incumbent systems:
  • are like battleships that cannot change direction with either spontaneity and maneuverability --  they cannot zig zag, turn on a dime or reverse their position
  • have so much on their minds they see any startup as a spec on the windshield -- not a real concern like the full agendas they have for their next three big meetings
  • rely on historical data like a car that stays on the road by watching the rear view mirror where "a bend in the road is the end of their road" they did not see coming
  • have been right about their predicting the appearance of more "white swans", they believe their own narrative fallacies and dismiss any "black swans" on the horizon
  • offer job security to people who don't rock the boat or call attention to themselves -- in spite of the evidence that those people are clueless and incompetent
  • make strategic decisions within the parameters of their industry structure and the crowded space of rivals playing the same game
  • assume sustaining innovations are good enough to get by and justify passing up opportunities to reinvent themselves
All these patterns create lots of space, freedom and maneuverability for innovating outside the box that constrains the incumbents.

No comments:

Post a Comment