There are two kinds of fool. One says, “This is old, and therefore good.” And one says, “This is new, and therefore better.”
New products, services, and methodologies clamor for our attention. All of them promise to make our lives easier, to help our teams become more productive, and to give our companies more opportunity to make money. Some might even be telling the truth.
We all have guessed about when to climb on board with a new technology, hot product, lauded programming language, or other hyped item touted as the latest-and-greatest innovation. Even when the item truly is exciting, adopting it is a risk no matter what size of business you run or where you stand on the corporate ladder. If you commit too soon, you may discover that the innovation doesn’t measure up to its promises, and its failures screw things up for your own projects. If you jump on board too late, after your competitors adopt the innovation and work out all the kinks, your organization may find itself playing catch-up.
This is an age-old problem. A hundred years ago, businesspeople argued about whether it was the right time to get rid of horse-drawn conveyances and invest in those newfangled delivery trucks. But they had more time to contemplate the options. These days, the pace of change is so fast that it’s hard to learn what an innovation is, much less make a sensible decision about the right ...