Beware of the partner “comfort zone”

Have you ever questioned why we have a comfort zone at all?

Our minds are like a trophy cabinet. We fill that cabinet with treasures and enjoy relaxing in our armchair admiring what we have won or learnt. These trophies could be commendations from colleagues and customers, past business performance or maybe even exam results. They shine brightly in our eyes and give us the confidence to write and talk about what we know.

Great. Use them, but don’t abuse them.

In the Telecoms and IT industry we have a comfort zone too. In fact, we have two; “vendor alliances” and “past performance”. There is nothing wrong with allegiance to a vendor, as long as they aren’t complacently admiring their scorecard, while your competitors are out in the world learning and adapting to change.

A good vendor alliance is a partnership with a rich ecosystem of like-minded learners. It’s no longer “you and me against the world!”, a round of golf and a race to the bottom of the market. The industry has woken up and realised that, if we work together, we create value and share success. If we don’t, the smarter company usually wins in the long run.

While the thought of an industry full of smart people constantly developing the latest technology might seem a little daunting, it may help to remember that they are busy making mistakes and learning from them to advance the market, so why not join in?

It’s true that “new” isn’t always best, but the alarm bells need to ring if proving that point through learning isn’t on top of your to-do list.

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