The Dumbest Thing a Company Can Do

Posted on: November 6, 2020

By Joanna Beck, Founder & CEO of Beck Insights

I’m often asked, “what is the dumbest thing you’ve seen at a company?” I don’t know whether people are asking to make sure I don’t answer “This, right here, is the dumbest thing” about our current conversation, or if they want to make sure someone else out there is in worse shape than they are. Surprisingly, there is no one “dumbest thing” that stands out over my career. It is the same thing I see at every company that stands out.

Everywhere I go, when discussing how a company does business or why they do something a certain way, I always hear a variation of “we’ve always done it this way”. That phrase, and its close cousins, is an alarm bell to me (and should be to you). It’s great that your company is successful and has been able to serve clients and customers over the years by being reliable and stable. But are you in danger of being replaced because of your inability to change?

Think about your own life – do you only wear slip-on shoes because you never learned to tie shoelaces? Are you still wearing diapers because you were never toilet trained? Have you always lived in the same house, driven the same car, or worn the same clothes because you’ve ‘always done it this way’? Humans change, adapt, and grow and your company should also.

Small changes in processes or procedures can have big impacts. You could deliver your product or service to your customers faster. You could free up much-needed capacity to serve more customers. You could increase efficiency, reduce costs, and increase profit.

I get it – change is hard. Not only for employees but also for senior management. It’s hard for any dog to learn new tricks, no matter their age. But when change is implemented correctly and supported at all levels of the company, it can improve employee morale and customer satisfaction. Then you can say “we’re always looking to improve, both for our employees and our customers”, rather than “we’ve always done it this way”.

Does your company have change that needs to be implemented but lacks internal capacity and/or resources?



Guest blogger Joanna Beck is Founder and CEO of Beck Insights, a consulting firm helping companies be more effective and efficient by improving their operations. Joanna founded Beck Insights after a 20+ year career in project management, operations, and change management for large corporations. If you are frustrated by the inefficiency in your business visit,  beckinsights.com/take-action for more information.

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