Are you a Prisoner of the Proven?


I recently modified the saying – “If you always do what you always did …you will always get what you always got…… ”    to

If you always do what you always did you will always get what you always got…….but not for much longer

The rate of change is so rapid now that even standing still is a bit like going backwards used to be. As such it is more important than ever that people in business are not only open to change but ready to embrace it and leverage it.

Quite often when I talk to people and they tell me about the things that used to work for them or still do ….. or even perhaps they plan to go back to….I ask them if we are talking BF —   Before FaceBook…. less than 10 years ago!!

I think BF is a great milestone as it is more recent than most think and it was a defining moment in terms of the way people in general see and use computers…and communications in general.

When I first heard the term Prisoner of The Proven it really resonated with me as it summed up so much of what I hear from people who don”t want to accept the world is moving rapidly and the things that used to work may not work for much longer.

Rather than fall for the trap of becoming a Prisoner of the Proven it is best now to think about how relevant the tool, technique, tactic etc is today compared to when it first became proven in your environment.

There are many things that whilst they still work well these days may also bring with them unintended consequences too.

In other words just because it used to work and it appears still to work don’t assume whatever it is, should still be  a viable part of your current strategy, approach or even brand.

I guess another way to look at it is if you were starting the business today with the knowledge you have and the tools now available would this “proven” approach be part of the mix.

Re-Imagining your business on this basis is s great way to go and will probably prevent you from becoming a Prisoner of the Proven.

Of course just because something is proven and been around for a long times doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use it ….. it just means don’t assume that it is still relevant or the best way to go … just because it is a proven approach…. keep looking for ways to innovate, disrupt even to  improve and don’t get stuck with things because they have a proven track record in your business.












One thought on “Are you a Prisoner of the Proven?

  1. Disruptive innovation, a term of art coined by Clayton Christensen, describes a process by which a product or service takes root initially in simple applications at the bottom of a market and then relentlessly moves up market, eventually displacing established competitors.
    As companies tend to innovate faster than their customers’ needs evolve, most organizations eventually end up producing products or services that are actually too sophisticated, too expensive, and too complicated for many customers in their market.
    If you are interested by more information, you can read my article on Disruptive innovation you can read at:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s