Finally, it’s crystallized for me. I’ll give credit to Reverend Dick Mills of Hement, California, for piecing it together. He wrote: “Sameness begets tameness, and tameness begets lameness.”
Simple enough. Stay the same for too long and you become tame. Stay tame for too long and…well, you’re lame. Mario Andretti said it another way: “If everything is under control, you’re moving too slow.”
Lame! Who wants to have this moniker hung on them? I can say without any equivocation, that St. Louis Community Credit Union has no desire to be known as “lame.” For that reason, we’re always at the “drawing board” figuring out new and exciting ways to help the community. And, boy do we have a “doozie” that we’ll be ready to unleash in the next few months.
Remember Rocky (Balboa, not “The Squirrel”). He was awesome. However, over the course of six flicks, he became pretty lame. After the original “Rocky,” I drank a raw egg, ran 3 miles, and did 100 sit-ups. After Rocky V, I went to Krispy Kreme. As much as it pains me to say it, the “Rocky” flicks lost their pizzazz!!!!
Every business should avoid this trap of “sameness to tameness to lameness.” Losing pizzazz in business is like the back two rows of church: very quiet and exiting early. If I may borrow a business buzz phrase, this is not the “migration path” you should seek. Businesses must evolve to meet the needs of a changing market. New products, services, delivery systems, emerging demographics, gender issues, new marketing efforts, technology issues and the professional development of personnel all come to mind. The good news is that St. Louis Community Credit Union is guilty of constantly running out improvements to meet our members’ needs. And the better news is that whatever we bring to market, our members use. Thanks!
Believe me! We understand our “roots.” We fully understand the need to maintain brand strength, core values, and the integrity of the company mission statement. However, with these basic tenets firmly in place, we must evolve. A company must have both “roots and wings.” We strive every day to have this mix. The great ones always do. We ask ourselves regularly: are we great or do we lack the “wings” to fly forward in change? The thought of not having “wings” has a grounding effect.
Every business must recognize both a need to adhere to the corporate mission statement and core values while at the same time continually practice re-inventing itself. As we have come to learn, failure to do so will result in the dreaded noose called “lame.”
So if the great ones re-invent themselves without giving up their core values, how does the word “lame” enter into the lexicon when describing a company?
Your Credit Union isn’t anywhere close to being the same as we were five years ago or, for that matter, even two years ago. We continue to figure out what’s needed and create new value by re-inventing what we do. We deepen our commitment and relationships. We make more loans. We serve more members and make more members happy. While we rinse and repeat this formula every day, we continue to seek a higher plane. After all, we don’t want to be tame or lame.
So what about it?