President, John Daniel Associates, Inc.
When an elephant is young, its leg is chained to an anchor in the ground. The baby tries and tries to get free, but cannot. When that baby elephant grows up into a large adult, it has the power to break out of the chain, but it doesn’t even try because of its prior experience of not being able to break free.
For nearly 20 years, we have been helping organizations find insight into their incredibly large amounts of data. The biggest obstacle for all companies is overcoming their perception based on past experiences. Techniques and tools that made companies successful over the years may not necessarily be in play today. The only way to overcome knowledge based on the past is to be curious and find new and better ways to solve business dilemmas.
Years ago, after listening to a business pain point of a prospect or customer, there may have been a distinct solution. Fast forward 20 years and are we all still making the same decisions we made 20 years ago? If you find yourself saying, “That is how we have always done it” then you will most likely find yourself heading down the road toward a great big wall and slamming into it. Many organizations behave like the elephant. They think if something was not possible years ago, how could it be possible now?
We all understand that a screwdriver is used to screw in screws, and a hammer to pound nails, and even a drill to make a hole in wood or metal. But for some reason, business decisions are often made to force every solution into ONE technology because that is what we have and know –and – that is how we always have done it. That may be fine for the most part, and the existing technology may even be good enough. However, many organizations do not consider other solutions because of what they already own as a current solution. Gartner addresses this with great research that shows the most successful businesses are engaging reporting and analytics with a pragmatic portfolio. Meaning that more than one tool will deliver the best solution based on the business problem and technology challenge.
As we make business decisions, let our past successes or failures influence us, but NOT make us afraid to break the chain so that our businesses can advance.