“If you have the same problem for a long time, maybe it’s not a problem. Maybe it’s a fact.”
“Facts are simple and facts are straight
Facts are lazy and facts are late
Facts all come with points of view
Facts don’t do what I want them to”
– Talking Heads, “Cross-eyed and Painless”
I’d wager that the vast majority of business failures are rooted in a profound denial of reality. The demise or persistent flailing of Borders, Blockbuster, Sears–and many other current or future residents of the retail graveyard–stems largely from a lack of awareness and acceptance of the unassailable facts of shifting consumer behavior.
It’s far too easy to dismiss an industry upstart or new technology as a fad or hype, until it’s too late. It’s common to worry more about protecting your turf rather than embracing a product or service for yourself that you fear “cannabilizes” your core.
Of course this is commonplace in interpersonal relations and communications as well. I know I can be quick to defend my behavior when I know deep down I’m the one who made the mistake, I’m the one who needs to change.
The next time someone challenges your business or your point of view, maybe your first reaction shouldn’t be to dismiss or defend.
Facts may not do what you want them to. But that doesn’t make them untrue. Ignore them at your own peril.