I can’t stand to hear those words in a business setting. Doing things a certain way just because you did them that way in the past is a stupid STUPID reason. In fact, I’d go as far as to say it’s the worst reason to do something, and a sure sign change is in order.
Seth Godin illustrates my point absolutely brilliantly in a new blog post entitled “The Reason“. Some excerpts:
The reason they teach biology before they teach chemistry in high school is that biology was invented first. Even though you need chemistry to do biology, but not vice versa.
The reason that you have a water bubbler in your office is that it used to be difficult to filter water effectively.
The reason you have a front lawn is to demonstrate to your friends and neighbors how much time and energy you’re prepared to waste.
The reason you go to a building to go to work every day is that steam or water power used to turn a giant winch-like structure that went right through the factory building. Every workman used that power to do his work. As factories got more sophisticated, it remained efficient to move the workers, not the stuff.
One great thing about getting in on the ground floor of a new business is that we largely start with a clean slate when it comes to processes, traditions, standard operating procedures, etc. Of course, everyone in the company will bring their own baggage along with their experience and knowledge, so we’ll still be fighting the problem, but on a slightly smaller scale. It’s going to take a lot of effort to keep us from falling into the comfort of the same ruts we’re all familiar with, but I don’t think we have an option. Doing and offering the same old stuff just isn’t good enough anymore.