We’ve Always Done It This Way

Startups & Tech

In startups, resistance to change is one of the worst possible character flaws.

This belief is manifested in myriad ways, the most abhorrent of which must be the phrase “We’ve always done it this way.”

“We’ve always done it this way” assumes that the existing way is the right way, that tradition is a good in its own right, and that innovation is somebody else’s responsibility. This causes pushback on experiments, resistance to change, and all sorts of other behavior that creates unnecessary friction.

In my experience, a lack of this attitude is the single biggest predictor of a candidate’s future success besides initiative.

If you regularly participate in hiring, make sure to interview for this trait and filter out candidates that have it.

Note, however, that insistence on doing what’s morally right is NOT the same thing as resistance to change. Companies that equate dishonesty or negligence with innovation are liable to experience a whole host of other well-deserved consequences.