"We've always done it this way."
This is Ye Olde Killer Phrase. Tradition is admirable, but smart organizations know that complacency can lead to collapse. Here are some other forms of this Killer Phrase:

Let's stick with what works.
It's change for the sake of change.
We've done all right so far.

What to Do About It
Break this endless loop with one or more of the following strategies.

Put "it" in perspective. Think together for a moment. Is there anything in life that hasn't evolved? Recall examples by saying, "At one time we believed that [...] would never work and it has been a surprising success."

Don't argue apples and oranges. Agree that the old way was good for its time. Show how things have changed and how new ideas lead to new successes. Support your idea with concrete examples such as fixed-price cars, non-invoice billing and crystal-clear colas. New times demand new thinking.

Identify the core rule. What stated or implied belief does the existing method support? Is that still valid? Maybe it's time for spring cleaning.

Tips For Leaders
Remember the questions you asked as a new hire:
Why do we have to fill out that form?
Who's in charge of this?
What if...?

Most of those questions occur during a person's first three months in a new job task. After that, employees adopt company policy and stop asking. Keep the questions alive by spending 10% of each staff meeting challenging a different ingrained assumption.

Go to Killer Phrase #2 "If it ain't broke..."
Go to Killer Phrase #3
"We've always done it this way."
Go to Killer Phrase #4
"I'll get back to you."
Go to Killer Phrase #5
"It'll NEVER Work."
Go to Killer Phrase #6
"No!""
Go to Killer Phrase #7
"Great idea, but not for us."
Go to Killer Phrase #8
"Do you realize the paper work it will create."
Go to Killer Phrase #9
"It isn't your responsibility."
Go to Killer Phrase #10
"We tried that before."


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