19 Negative Phrases to Avoid when Fostering a Disruptive Culture

19 Negative Phrases to Avoid when Fostering a Disruptive Culture

Andrew Chow  28/01/2019 2

Every best performing company will need to embrace the Disruptive Culture based on innovation and Forward Thinking in order to survive the Disruptive Economy. The new rule of business is there are no rules at all in the future. Everything from a simple notion to a company practice to an industry trend can be challenged and disrupted easily and quickly. These disruption can come from exponential technology growth, rapid change of consumer behavior and unexpected competition from other industries. 

To brace yourself for the Disruptive Economy, we need a Disruptive Culture of speaking positively and proactively in every situation and meeting. If we need to invent a new technology, research on it. If we need to hire the right people, search for them. Our words used by management and staff alike is part of the culture. Some of them require to be erased from the corporate lingo and practices. Changes in the way we do business will always expose our corporate culture. Be Disruptive before Destruction is at the door steps. 

These are 19 phrases we need to stop speaking in order to be disruptive-ready within our corporate culture. 

1. "We have always do it this time.” 

2. "Our industry is very unique.”

These are the oldest obstacles to creativity and innovation. It is not comforting to be in the comfort zone for too long. Complacency is the perfect environment for self destruction. We can only manage change well when we look for it and not let it come to us. 

3. "We have nothing to fear as we are already the market leader.”

No one company stays on top of the game and competition forever. Microsoft was the leader of any operating system for 20 years and it has to be transformed to the biggest cloud company when operating system becomes a platform and software can be rented or purchased on demand. When you become the leader, you will also become the target of focus and research for the next revolution of business. 

4. "Why fix it when it ain't broke?” 

5. "This isn't our industry practice.”

These are the mindset issues and related to the first point; albeit more seriously. This is a sign of resistance to self-initiated change which is a reflection of having weak predictive sense of the business ahead. 

6. "We cant have someone too young in this role.” 

The millennial generation often offers new perspectives about the brand and how consumers will connect with it. It is detrimental not to get young executives involved in the strategic management decisions through task forces. 

7. "We have no budget for anything”. 

Change is always expensive but the price of not changing will make you irrelevant sooner than you think. First make time for change, then provide the budget for change. The question isn’t whether you can afford the change, it is the fact that you cannot afford not to change. 

8. "We have tried that before and it failed”. 

This is about the lack of corporate residence. Very few companies get changes right on the very first try. If you want to stay ahead, be prepared to research and fail often. The lessons of success are often found in failures. Discuss causes of failure and regroup so that one day the company will celebrate success. 

9. "Our people wont accept this”. 

10. "Thats not my job!"

These are problems as a result of a lack of quality staff engagement. Town Halls and open dialogues ensure information is disseminated by drip feeding. Incremental acceptance through engagement will always be more effective than sudden announcement 

11. "This isn’t aligned to our corporate branding."

12. "Lets check with our brand’s guidelines.”

Everything can be disrupted and changed even if it concerns our branding. The reason why brands exist is to connect with the consumers and provide intrinsic values proposition. If that connection is no longer there and the value proposition are is not longer compelling, there is no reason why a brand should even exist. Make Rebranding Exercise part of your upcoming Disruptive Culture. 

13. "We do not have the right people now to champion this."

14. "We don’t have an organizational structure now to set this in motion."

With the right people comes new structure. Job description can be changed when right people from within are invited to champion a change. The best change must come from within and not from the top. You won’t know if you have the right people until you have asked the key managers about job rotation. 

15. "Our business doesn’t require social media.”

While it is true many B2B industries do not require direct engagement with the end users, social media is still relevant to serve as a value-add proposition to close a sales. Whether you are a B2B or B2C company, you are in the People-to-People business. Social Networking is the answer to navigate new sales in the midst of fierce competition. Be social is the way to connect with prospect and follow up on sales meetings. 

16. "Let's collect more data and we look into changing this next year.”

17. "We have other issues to focus on.”

18. "Our front-liners are too busy to collect data."

Big Data is produced everyday and data science is giving new insights every hour. In the age of disruptive economy, 10 years is a generation and one year is like an era. Time waits for no man or company. Collect more data if you need to and look into it at the very next quarter. Nothing is more important than managing change in any organization. 

19. "Our customer requirement is usually pretty straightforward.”

This is the very reason why need to change from time to time as the analytics will show us that people do change their buying and spending habits over time. The buyers will always be the sellers. It is the sellers’ job to know what is next in the minds of the buyers. Nothing is ever straightforward because your competitor won’t be straightforward in connecting with your customers. Your buyer persona must be constantly profiled and keywords must be constantly updated to beat competition and get to the customers faster and more effectively. 

Disruption in business and the future will never be comfortable for any organisation. Stay Vigilant. Stay Relevant. You can be the initiator of Disruptive Economy when you stay ahead of the game and the competition. Make others adjust while you advance. Make other follow your footsteps while you become a trendsetter in business. 

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  • Ashton Kate

    Insightful read

  • Rob Johnson

    Very helpful, thanks for sharing

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Andrew Chow 

Digital Marketing Expert

Andrew Chow is a successful social media and public relations strategist, entrepreneur and speaker based in Singapore. He is also the best-selling author of a highly popular series of books: Social Media 247, Public Relations 247 and Personal Branding 247. Andrew has spoken in over 15 countries within 5 years and addressed more than 20,000 people on Digital Marketing, Personal Branding, Enneagram, Public Relations and Branding. Andrew’s career of 30 years; has seen him work with an array of clients including AXA Insurance, Abbot Medical Optics, Singtel and Sony Pictures, M1, Starhub, and Sennheiser. Andrew had more than 300 interviews and features about him or his business since 2005 from more than 40 local and regional media. He is listed as the Top 10 Most Influential Speaker in Singapore in 2013 by the Singapore Business Review. He won the Spirit of Enterprise in 2008 and the Successful Entrepreneur in 2010. Before he served as the President of the Asia Professional Speakers – Singapore (APSS), he also won the coveted Spirit of Service Award from the Industry. He loves travelling and held his solo Photo Art Exhibition for 3 days in Singapore to raise funds for a charity – Teen Challenge. Andrew is known by the moniker @ideasandrew in all his social media platforms.

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