Why companies don’t try new things?
That was the question a few colleagues have asked me over the last few weeks. Especially when stats prove the success of new techniques. I call it “Legacy Inertia.” Thanks David Rose (@dbrose67) for the eloquent term.
Legacy Inertia is the phenomenon that people will continue doing something that reaps moderate results versus trying a new tactic, supported by various forms of evidence of its superior results, because the old “legacy” technique and its results are already accepted in the organization. The perceived risk of not meeting that minimum mediocre expectation is too high to be the one to try something new, even though the results may be infinitely greater.
It all about fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of failing. Fear of success. Trying something new takes guts. And most people are risk averse. They think they have far more to lose than to gain by fighting to try something new and gambling on its success. It’s why large companies find it so difficult to innovate. Hitting the preverbal brick wall.
My favorite part of this ailment is that usually when you talk to people they say “yeah…we have to do that…” They nod in agreement…often times they get excited by the prospect. But when they go back to their organizations and start talking about it…they meet resistance. Resistance kills innovation.
Consider it for yourself. When you are trying to convince your boss to try video for example in your marketing mix…or when you have an idea of a new product feature…watch it unfold. First they listen, then they agree and get excited and then when you are ready to take action….excuses commence and innovation stalls.
What do you think? Does this “Legacy Inertia” Exists? How do you combat is in your organizations?