We are in the middle of conference season, culminating with the SHRM Conference next week in D.C. You’re going to hear almost all the cliches in this conference:
- “Seat at the table”
- “Big Data”
However, the oldest cliche in business is “hard work.” The answer of why your company has been successful was always hard work. Sadly, it’s just a myth. Hard work does not equate to results. Why do people say hard work lead to good results? Because we don’t have an answer of how companies get those results, so hard work is the number one answer, in the Family Feud board, of why companies are successful. A good example is the pay gap. Although we assume if you work hard, you get paid more, but that’s never the case. Your executives get the money because it’s their company and they can do whatever they want. It is not fair, but they don’t care and that’s the sad part.
People say companies need to focus on results to get…results. Here’s the problem: how do you get results? Most will answer they did research and decide on a path and take it. The real answer is timing and being opportunistic. The reason Apple was successful, when Steve Jobs was running the place, because they were one step ahead. People were hesitant about the iPod and the iPhone, but when the product yielded tremendous results, so did the customers buying in on the product. This is why Apple is “struggling” because they have not been innovative for a few years and the rumors of changing their accessories could be where Apple regains the crown.
You can have the best product, the best people, and the best atmosphere, but the most important thing is timing. On the link about Netflix; they was struggling with sales, but when they implement streaming and created their own content, revenue was back up again and now, their streaming services and original content is being copied from Hulu, Amazon, and even Sony Playstation.
This is where most companies screw it up; if they’re successful, they keep it constant. The problem is what if your competitor took a risk and and it worked out perfectly? You went from being profitable to a potential has-been. In business, being opportunistic is an advantage because you have ideas that your competitors don’t have.
Remember this: it is not important to be the first, but it is important to be the best. People worried about being first because we would have the case of FOMO, but your business needs to be proactive and even all of that, crap still happens. Results are random, it’s how your company handles the variables and can your company at least contain it.
Image via Permaculture Research Institute