“Imitation is ultimately a failure when it’s compared to the originality that lies embedded within your imagination!” – #Futurist Jim Carroll
Over the last 25 years,I’ve seen many cases where companies have jumped onto a trend simply because everyone else has! They’ve suddenly decided that a major disruptive is so important that they need to get onboard – without really understanding the implications of the trend.
Strategy that is based on “jumping on the bandwagon” is doomed to fail, for many, many reasons:
- it’s lazy: true disruptive strategies takes hard work. It involves massive cultural, organizational, structural change
- it involves an organization and leadership team with an idea that involves all kinds of radical and new ideas to deal with rapid change but is probably unwilling to do that
- it’s a weak fix: it’s just trying to find an easy solution to deep, complex problems
- it involves little new creativity: by linking a new approach to doing things with a “hot topic” or trend means that people end up shutting their brains down. Creativity is immediately doomed through commonality
- it’s just a bandaid: bandwagon based actions causes people to look for instant solutions and a quick fix, rather than trying to really figure out how to do something differently
- it’s backward: it involves putting in a solution without identifying a problem
- it encourages mediocrity: it reduces critical strategy to an “idea of the week,” and does nothing to encourage people to really look at their world in a different way
- it reduces action to sloganeering: truly creative people within organizations are tried of slogan-based management
- it destroys the future: after the bandwagon effect ultimately fails (as they always do for the reasons above), people end up feeling burned out, cynical, demotivated — and they’ll be prepared to do little when the “next big thing” comes along.
Ultimately, this bandwagon thinking is destructive, because people have seen far too many ‘radical right turns’ and ‘new beginnings’ — and when they realize that their management team has jumped onto the latest hot trend, their faith and motivation goes out the window.
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