Okay, I need to go on the record as saying I am a big fan of traditions.
On a personal level, I relish the thought of eating turkey at Thanksgiving dinner. I like knowing what to expect when I attend a church service. And, I enjoy my monthly “guys night out,” where we play poker and talk fantasy football – it’s been the same group of friends for over 20 years!
On a professional level, I find comfort in my organizational culture and wholeheartedly support it. In addition, I value the high performance objectives we set because they make team members better and the organization stronger.
This being said, however, I can’t help but think about a recent college football analyst who called the Oregon Ducks “anti-tradition.” This analyst believed that it was only by stepping away from athletic tradition that the Ducks perfected their winning formula. To even the most casual college football fan, many examples come to mind: their cutting-edge uniforms in a myriad of color combinations, their fast-paced offense, and the fact that they don’t just use the fourth down to punt the ball.
Yet, the bottom-line for Duck football is never ignored. They are about (a) creating an enjoyable product that (b) increases fan support and related revenues, while at the same time (c) increasing exposure to talented young recruits who will sustain the winning formula. In other words, you can be untraditional in your actions, and still achieve success.
Here are my tips on how to take a critical eye to your own traditions.
We should all take solace in the traditions that help us achieve both success and happiness. To the extent that our traditions fail to deliver, maybe it’s time to consider alternatives! What kind of traditions do you hope to change at your organization? Which do you think you’ll be keeping?This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 25, 2012.