Sunday, May 22, 2011


I’ve just been watching a show about a bakery that needs to change - its products to meet the needs of their clients and the layout of the store so it becomes contemporary and attracts younger shoppers.

The owner is really set in her ways and despite the expert’s advice and a tour of successful bakery, is digging her heels in because she doesn’t want to change what she is doing. Actually she is not listening – to her customers or to the expert they’ve called in to save her bakery.

No one says change is easy but if we stay complacent or set in our ways, then the outcome is not likely to be positive. As Einstein says “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

After doing a trial run with different breads, the owner has to acknowledge that there was lots of interest in the new, healthier types of bread. However, while she has agreed that the speciality breads might work, she is taking short cuts and using bread mixes instead of making the breads from scratch. From the expert’s point of view, she’s totally missed the point and her controlling, passive aggressive behaviour is dooming the move forward.

Her rationale for her resistance is that she has been running her business for over 36 years and done well, thank you very much. I was in awe at the expert’s tenacity in trying to get her to change her mind but in the end, the business owner turned down all the ideas and suggestions.

So how set in your ways are you? Are you open to change? What does it take to get you to change direction? A decline in revenue or customers; constant feedback emphasizing something you don’t want to hear? Well, ignore at your peril. Even the most successful business cannot rest on its laurels, part of staying successful is staying current and innovative.

Plus, don’t you get bored with the same old, same old? I do.

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