With the Olympics about to come to London, Bernardo Moya discusses the skills it takes to get ahead – and how to develop the ability to face problems with fresh eyes.
The video above is a great example of doing something other than what’s expected of you, and using your brains rather than following the conventions can really pay off. The background to the men’s 4 x 400m relay gold medal win at the Tokyo World Championships is that the USA were heavily tipped to win. And as Kis Akabussi in the film describes, Team GB had to do something different to win.
Conventional wisdom would have had Chris Black, the fastest of Team GB’s runners taking the final leg of the relay – but as Kris explains, they defied convention and had him running first. The decision to run this way caused real dissent in the GB team, with one coach distancing himself from their descision. But as Kris explains, it paid off very well, with a mixture of psychology and physical strategy.
This lesson doesn’t only apply to sport. Every industry, every marketplace, has its accepted rules – assumptions about what customers want, when they want it, or how much they’re willing to pay. Collectively they make up what are called the “industry standards.”
The bigger, older and more prosperous an industry is, the more entrenched these rules of the game become.
When conditions change – market growth slows, competitors become deeply entrenched and customers seem less concerned with value and only look at price. After that, technology plateaus. The “rules” may need to be broken.
And therein lies the paradox: you have to be able to do both stick to the rules and break them in order to be truly successful. Rules are made to bring order and to gain conformity in an area that might otherwise be chaotic. Breaking the right rules is about innovation, creation, and finding new paradigms. The trick is in knowing which rules to break and which ones not to.
Here are some historic examples of game-changers from history:
- Ford Motor Company, almost a century earlier, produced the first auto that didn’t require great wealth to purchase.
- Kodak, at about the same time, put a severe crimp in the portrait painting industry with its introduction of the first consumer-friendly camera.
- Polaroid later developed a camera that eliminated the stop at the photo processor for a finished picture.
- Philips found a way to capture images electronically on a videotape – dispensing with the need for photographic film or paper at all.
Whether you are an entrepreneur a therapist, a management consultant or a doctor, it is through discovering which rules to break that you will become better than average and make yourself noted in your field.
So ask yourself,
- Which rule can I break today?”
- What is your compiling unique vision?
- Are your own people or team committed to your vision?
- Do you have fierce conversations?
- Do your people know what to do?
- Have you got the right people?
Then begin your journey to becoming extraordinary!
CEO The Best You