It seems in many disciplines of business we are schooled to “remain consistent”, whether in management, sales or marketing.
Consider this: what do you know that’s extraordinary, beautiful, impactful AND consistent? An artists’ work? Snowflakes? Sunsets? Typically each is quite unique.
Is consistency foolish?
Is consistency the comfort zone for mediocrity? Essentially, if we are on a path we’ve travelled before, we know where we will end up. Therefore, with the outcome known we are not required to challenge ourselves, stretch our imagination or test our boundaries. Is that a cop out?
Or is it safe?
There’s something to be said about slow and steady. Like investing, it’s risk vs. reward. Innovation and disruption don’t live in slow and steady, and that’s ok. You plot your course and you arrive exactly where desired.
Is unpredictable astonishing?
Arguably, the mind of the entrepreneur that chose to challenge the status quo and break consistencies is probably not described as ‘predictable’. A great recent example is PR Guru (and genuinely awesome guy) Peter Shankman.
In March 2008 Peter started a free Journalist-to-PR pro “matchmaking” service, HARO (Help a Reporter Out). Three times each day PR-type subscribers receive an email that countain journalists’ queries. Everybody wins. Journalists get the info they need, and PR types get to tell their stories.
In short order Peter has built his subscriber base to 1,600,000 million double-opt-in, requested emails every single month. Net net: ad sponsor revenue of nearly $1m in 1.5 years.
“Why didn’t I think of that?”
Maybe you think consistently? Peter’s thinking isn’t consistent. It’s searching. It’s disruptive. While I don’t pretend to know what initially motivated his development of HARO, I imagine it started with “There MUST be a better way to do this”.
Trapped in consistency?
Great companies and the great people that run and support them seem to constantly grow and evolve through inconsistency, despite the pressure to “stay the course”.
So, are you on course, or making it up as you go?