‘We’ve Always Done It This Way’

I came across a quote the other day “we’ve always done it this way” that made me think. How often have you heard this, said this, or even just thought this? I will admit that I am a creature of habit. I like a routine and I tend to consistently follow it. Although I can alter my routine from time to time, I always seem to go back to what I’m comfortable with. After thinking about this concept I began to recall how many times I’ve seen this in a professional setting. You may hear something like ‘This is how I was taught’ to ‘It is working so why fix it’. You may get an excuse after excuse of reasons why we shouldn’t try something new, deferring a decision over and over again (basically, deciding not to decide), or passing an item from one committee to another so that it will always have a voice of dissent. The wording may be altered but the meaning remains the same.

Many companies have procedures, traditions, cultures, routines, habits, etc. that haven’t changed in years. In thinking about that, one might ask if that procedure is still the most efficient. Another thing that comes to mind is how a procedure that doesn’t change could be missing something, especially if the employee performing the procedure has been in that position for a long length of time. Another thought that struck me is that some employees just don’t have the time, ability or skill to apply a more detailed analysis to procedures or a process. Having another set of eyes can result in a whole new perspective.

I got the luxury to attend a client meeting with Geoff Chinnock and watch this process in action. It was a great experience to watch the client’s reactions as he pointed out different aspects of their company from an analysis on their customers and product lines to the financial analysis results of their foreign affiliated offices. The analysis results prompted questions and also the need to develop new procedures and training of personnel. This analysis showed the need to continuously monitor some aspects of the company and showed what areas were working well and what areas weren’t. By providing a ‘second set of eyes’ the top executives were able to look at areas of their business in a whole new light, looking at things from a different perspective and opened them up to changing the way things have always been done in regards to inventory processing, related party transactions, shipping deliveries, product sales, and customer volumes.

If you are ready to break out of the ‘we’ve always done it this way’ and see your company in a whole new light, Morrison can help with that. Read more on our website.

About the Author

Colleen Souza is a consultant with Morrison, providing business valuations, business planning (including budgeting, cash flow forecasting, strategic planning), feasibility studies, interim executive CFO services, competitive grant writing, recruitment, and special projects that don't fit into any conventional category. You can contact Colleen directly at csouza@morrisonco.net or via telephone at 530-893-4764 ext. 206.

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