In our fast-paced and fad-rich world we live in today, I see many companies (and individuals, for that matter) try “this” one week and “that” the next week. They attempt to be overly accommodating and then drastically different, in hopes of finding or becoming the next big thing. Being innovative, agile and trying new ways of doing things is definitely important and a skill we should try to continue to get better at; however, adopting “the latest hype” or going down an untested path can cause a considerable cloud of confusion. A lack of clarity is no small issue and can foster an abundance of uncertainly and a whole lot of stress—which can lead to decreased happiness, productivity, value and revenue, among many other unwanted outcomes.
For example, a colleague of mine wants to find a new job and decided to look for an opportunity in a specific industry she has worked in before, just a different role. Good idea! But then the following week, she decided to shift her focus to a completely new path, resembling the opposite of her strengths and even working knowledge, in an effort to “do something exciting and new.” Three months passed and still no new job offers emerged. Bad luck or bad strategy? I’d say the latter.
Focusing on doing what you do best is not only a valid personal strategy, but it’s also a sound business one.
In fact, recently the biggest U.S. supermarket chain decided to scale back attempts to enhance sales with new products and renovated stores to be more competitive with Walmart and Target, which unfortunately led to 1000 job cuts last month. However, instead of continuing to do what they don’t do best, Kroger is reversing course on apparel, meal kits, etc. and getting back to what they know and excel at: selling groceries.
Hopefully this conscious shift works well for Kroger and the pendulum swings the other way. Some say the change took too long or wasn’t big enough; yet, others are very optimistic. Time will tell. I commend Kroger for deciding to now spearhead targeted innovative ideas but focus on doing what they do best. I hope this revised strategy brings them unprecedented success, as I know numerous people who are happily employed by that chain.
What do you do best? Whatever it is, you likely enjoy doing it, because we tend to love the things we rock at! Do what you do best and forget the rest.