People in power will often drop the sentence, in a heart beat, “I’ve been in this business for so and so years; I know more than you do”. Most times, yeah sure they do.
But it doesn’t mean what they’ve known for the past twenty so years will continue to be so in forthcoming years.
The worst and most cancerous people to innovation are innovation deniers; people not willing to adapt to change.
It’s not the fear of change that scares them, it’s the fear of becoming irrelevant.
I’ve never been afraid to admit when I’m not well-educated on a subject; and I’d rather choose to listen than argue that my poorly-researched opinions are correct.
In Business Strategy; old, giant, slobs will often pretend what they know is correct and all else is irrelevant. They’ll constantly remind you of their position, their title, their awards, and their knowledge.
But knowledge is like time, it evolves. We learn from the past, live in the present, and hope to achieve and aim higher for a better future.
It doesn’t necessarily mean that these educated individuals have failed; it is that they’re not willing to make room for newcomers who challenge their opinion.
At an Asset Management forum; I was chatting to an Engineering Industry mogul and was speaking to him about the necessity of using RFID, RTLS, and IR Sensors. He argued algorithms do not predict when a machine will fail, people do; and hence they hire equipment managers to perform that job.
I argued that sensors could do that more precisely and efficiently; but also minimise cost of hiring a dozen site managers. He seemed aggravated, annoyed, and displeased. He didn’t like what I was saying. So I thought it best to not argue at all.
When I stopped arguing, he assumed he’d won. I’d done it out of respect.
But all respect went out the door when he said to me:
“See, you kids..you come along. You think you can revolutionise an industry. But it’s all hoo haa, we know how the industry works — we’ve been doing it for the past 30 years.”
I fired back and said:
“Or maybe, you’re just too ignorant and lacking in braincells to realise the inevitable truth that you’ll become irrelevant. So you’re constantly in flight and fight mode to put down anything that challenges your opinion.”
He told his peers later on I was a lunatic. I didn’t argue that either. I let them believe that I was.
It’s not with disrespect or because I’m ungrateful. I recognise the work of our ancestors; the pioneers that spent their entire lives to bring change.
John Logie Baird, Isaac Newton, Alan Turing..to name a few.
But denying evolution and the ability to change and adapt would mean we’d still be amazed by fire resulting from sticks being rubbed together. It is also a disrespect to the great people who did the hard work so that we could come this far.
We’re the race that went to the fucking moon and back.
So why is it that major Industry moguls are so afraid of change and innovation?
It’s their fear of becoming irrelevant. Their ability to not understand and their ego that constantly forces them not to succumb to the ability to admit that they no longer understand the evolution that is inevitable. That they’ll live forever.
Instead they spread their cancer across other Industries and do everything within their power to stop change from happening.
Just so that they can feel relevant.