When some people hear the term “old school” they think of a nostalgic, happy time when life was just a little bit better because it was simple and filled with good values. For others, “old school” represents a stubborn perspective that honours an out-of-date time before modern ideas and technology improved life.
If you are of the second mindset and believe that you need to hold onto your old school ideas, you may not only be missing out on good opportunities, but might actually be hurting your business.
Think about the computer, for example. Many people in business were reluctant to even consider trying to automate tasks that they felt comfortable doing by hand. Whether it was ordering inventory, scheduling appointments or doing their accounts receivables and payables, they stuck to the older methods. Many perhaps had the attitude that if things were working then why change them.
There are many other reasons why they might have blocked the idea of change:
1. Fear – Sometimes new things, especially equipment can seem to be too complicated or not trustworthy. When a person doesn’t understand how something can bring value, s/he might be hesitant to even try to use it.
2. Control – Sometimes doing the same thing over and over again leads to patterns of comfort. When someone does things a certain way for a period of time, s.he might think that this is the only way to be able to control the timing and outcome.
3. Finances – Implementing new systems might seem to be more expensive – especially if you think that the methods you are using don’t cost anything. For example, if you have staff and they can do things the way that you expect, you might not consider the wages involved, or the paper, ink, and other supplies.
Things change in society and sometimes holding onto old school ideas can leave you at a disadvantage.
I remember when I was a young adult and my grandfather wanted me to take him to the store. Everyone in hearing distance chuckled when he asked for a quill pen and a nickel scribbler to write his life story.
Well, he was very surprised to learn that he could only get a ballpoint pen and a scribbler that was much, much more expensive than he had planned
Imagine, if he was still alive at how he might react to a suggestion to use a computer!
Grandpa’s plan to write his story was a very honourable one and we all enjoy the fact that he did it so we can read and pass it down for generations to come. His desire to connect history and family was a good old school idea. How he wanted to do it, however, was outdated and unfortunately made him a victim of some ridicule.
Sometimes we need to examine our own ideas and ways of doing things. Even though there is some value in honouring old school ideas, there are actually some that can hurt our businesses.
In order to sort out the differences you will need to have an open mind and perhaps some very good consultants who will help you with this.