The Lure of Shiny New Things
I’ve become a big fan of Patrick Lencioni and his leadership books. I think he sees things that most of just don’t see. The things he sees are those “duh” type of things too. I subscribe to his “Point of View” newsletter. (you can do so here).
Today he sent out a thought on the lure of “new” things. At the risk of always evolving and always learning, he shows that there is some value in simplicity and consistancy. He writes about the phenomenon of In-N-Out burgers…
There is a regional chain of quick-service (a.k.a. fast food) restaurants on the west coast called In-N-Out Burger. If you‘ve never lived or spent much time in California, Nevada or Arizona, you might not know about In-N-Out, but it‘s a sixty year old company that has a cult-like following among people who like fresh, delicious hamburgers.
What‘s amazing about In-N-Out is that during their history they‘ve almost never changed their menu. All they serve are cheeseburgers, hamburgers, french fries (one size only), milkshakes (chocolate, vanilla and strawberry, one size only), and soft drinks.
Imagine the temptations that the executives at In-N-Out have felt over the years to add something new. In addition to wanting to take advantage of trends and fads, they very easily could have decided they were bored offering the same menu. Why not add a chicken sandwich? Or a shamrock shake in March? Or a Mexican-pizza-melt? Every other restaurant is adding new items to keep customers interested. Weren‘t they worried they‘d fall behind?
They‘ve always said ‘no’, and kept their focus on making the freshest, most consistent high quality hamburger in the world—or at least in this part of the world. And they‘ve never been willing to dilute their focus on that by chasing something shiny and new. They believe that there are plenty of people out there who want great hamburgers, and they‘re okay with those people driving to another restaurant when they are craving something else. That requires great restraint and a real appreciation for what they already have.
This is a good point. What kinds of things are you adding on to your life, your church, your community, your job that just don’t need to be there. Are there things that are diluting your organization, community, etc from its mission?