January 3, 2018 karynross

Want to be great? Don’t copy! Create!

Does your organization want to stand out from the competition, delight customers, engage employees and be around for the long-term? In a nutshell, does your organization want to be great?

If it does, but you’re struggling with how to get there, I have the answer. And it’s simpler than you might think. If your organization truly wants to be great, then don’t just copy…


Although many organizations search for ways to become great by reading books, taking courses and benchmarking other, high-profile companies who seem to have it all figured out, unfortunately, much as we’d like it to be, copying what any of these other organizations has done, isn’t the way to greatness. Don’t get me wrong. Reading books, and taking courses can help jump-start our thinking, and, there are definitely things we can learn by going to see what others are doing to work towards reaching their goals and fulfilling their purpose. But, it’s important to make sure that we don’t fall into the trap of believing that copying, lock, stock and barrel, what others are doing is the path to greatness for us.

Here are a couple of reasons why.

First, even though other organizations might, on the outside, look ‘similar’ to yours, they really aren’t. Only your organization has your particular customers, your people and your vision, mission, values, history and culture. What ‘worked’ to make others great, was created in response to the specific needs of their customers and their organization, not yours.

Second, even though we tell ourselves that it would be nice to save time and that copying would make things easier, in the end, it’s not what really satisfies and fulfills us as human beings. Creating does. Creating means figuring out how to use the knowledge we’ve gained from previous experiences in new ways, working towards challenging targets we don’t yet know how to reach, and participating, collaboratively, in efforts to create better ways to work, serve others and reach organizational goals together.

And that’s what greatness is all about.

If you’re still not sure that creating is the answer, think about some of the ‘great’ organizations. The Toyota’s, Amazon’s and Tesla’s of the world. Although they may have looked at what others were doing, and how they were doing it, in the end, they didn’t copy solutions from other places, or simply implement another organization’s model. They created. Created products, services and ways of working that differentiate them from what other organizations do and how they do it.

So, as I said, it’s simple. if you want your organization to be great, don’t rely only on copying.


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