Monday, November 27, 2017

Why It's Time to Push Back Against Industry Norms

Since he was a university student in the Netherlands, it has bothered Freek Vermeulen that newspapers are printed in the broadsheet format, which he contends is awkward and flimsy to read.
When he became an assistant professor of strategic and international management at London Business School, he took the opportunity to question newspaper leaders about their format and discovered leaders didn’t really know why they used broadsheets – it had just always been done that way.
Vermeulen then turned a couple of research assistants loose to dig deeper into the reasoning. They found that the broadsheets were born after the English government in 1712 began taxing newspaper companies based on the number of pages that were printed. While printing the larger pages made sense at the time, the practice continued even after the tax law was abolished.
Vermeulen, now a full professor, says this is a great example of the trap many companies fall into – hanging onto things that don’t really make sense. It’s also why they fail to evolve and innovate.
“In principle, the world is Darwinian, including in business. Part of adaptation is dumping things that don’t work,” he says. “If you have bad habits, you may not survive.”
While some businesses may be able to continue bad habits for a “surprisingly long (read more here)

1 comment:

YounesIDRISSI said...

Dear Freek,
I appreciate your point of view and I'm convinced that Business should evolve while questionning the Norms he used to for decades.
in Information Technology, we are surrounded by norms that claims to be "the only way" (ITIL, COBIT, CMMI, ...) and yet are difficult to follow because the nature of the business. Sometimes becoming industry standards compliant is the obsession for the management and becomes a strategy in itself.
How do you think we can adopt a disruptive approach in such context having a management team who globally pushes towards to be "Industry Standards Compliant?"

Thanks and Regards,

Program Manager