Saturday, March 10, 2012

Stick to your Knitting

There is nothing wrong with sticking with what you know.

Just make sure your stakeholders know what to expect. By stakeholders I mean shareholders in the literal sense and I mean employees, customers and partners too.

imageHowever, sticking with your knitting does not mean you have to do the same thing forever and ever. You can change and adapt. In fact, I’d say you MUST change and adapt … just do it at a pace that works for you. However, don’t do it so slowly that the competition creeps up and surrounds you. By then it may be too late.

If it’s too late that’s when you can throw in the Yarn Bomb.

Which brings up a question … Is it ever too late?
I think the answer is … It Depends.

imageSort of like the old joke ---

How many psychiatrists does it take to change a lightbulb?

Answer: Only one, BUT the light bulb has to WANT to change.

It’s OK to Evolve

Sticking to your Knitting does not mean you cannot grow. It does not mean you cannot innovate. It does not mean you cannot evolve. In fact, if you don’t evolve you will fade away … perhaps slowly, but you (and your business) will fade away until there is nothing left.

Consider UPS and FedEx. They started out in the package delivery business and they have stuck to their knitting and evolved into gigantic logistics operations. At the core of their business they still deliver packages.

Other examples include:

  • CoffeeStarbucks focuses on creating a great experience to consume coffee, but they continue to sell coffee.
  • InsuranceGeico makes funny commercials about a Gecko and says you can save 15%, but they still sell insurance.
  • Saving Time – The ultimate pitchman, Ron Popeil, founder of Ronco keeps finding (inventing / innovating) devices, but they still sell the same thing … convenience and saving time.

How to Keep People Engaged

Tell them. Share your vision. Share your goals. Most important … let them share in your goals. If you don’t share your vision, your goals and your expectations people will have to make leaps of faith. They’ll have to make guesses and eventually they’ll stop trying and move on. Don’t let that happen.


If you stick to your knitting you just might find out that people want to help you and want what you are building.

Make it part of your DNA


What do you think?

  • Is it ever too late?
  • Can you teach an old dog new tricks?
  • What tips do you have to Stick to your Knitting … WHILE innovating?

Drop a comment below or connect with me via the social channels below – Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook or Google+

imageAbout The Author:
I have spent the last 20 years working in various aspects of the ECM industry. I am currently with
Kodak as a Director of Global Solutions. In my past I have spent time at Kofax, Microsoft, FileNet, K2, and at Captaris (which was acquired by Open Text). Prior to that I was a Unix VAR running my own company. Follow me on Twitter, check my blog, send email or find me on Facebook or LinkedIn.

Image Credits: @AnSnagBreac (Thanks for giving me permission to use your super cool Yarn Bomb)

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