Are you in danger of active inertia?  Current and potential customers are constantly asking themselves (and you if you’re listening) "Can you meet their developing needs?"  They may have found you perfectly capable at some point, but as their needs evolve they’re going to be watching your ability to meet those evolving needs.  If they’re not yet customers, the only way to ever connect with them will be to develop the capacity to meet their present and future requirements.

So back to the question: are you in danger of active inertia?  What is active inertia?  In a very helpful section of The Prepared Mind of a Leader on the skill of Challenging the authors bring forward an idea from Revival of the Fittest: Why Good Companies Go Bad and How Great Managers Remake Them.  The concept is this:

"Active inertia is the condition of doing what you’ve always done (and doing it well) but missing the curve in the road.  It’s not what you do that gets you in trouble; it’s when you keep doing what you’ve always done."

I don’t know about you, but that sounds really familiar to me.  The example used is that of Motorola who owned the cell phone business with the Star Tek and lost it when they didn’t switch to digital from analog.  I can think of some other great examples.  You can too.

The next question is, how can we develop the challenging skill to battle active inertia?  I’ll let you know what I find out.  Or you can pick up a copy and read along.

The Dangers of Active Inertia
  • Khatia Rostomashvili

    Hello, my name is Khatia Rostomashvili
    I’m a student at Berkeley College; Majoring in International Business.
    Recently one of our business professors gave us an assignment about “active inertia.” So I did little research. As a future business person, manager, I found your wed site very interesting. Tomorrow I’m planning to go to B&N to buy the book: “the prepared mind of a leader.”
    Thank you
    Khatia Rostomashvili