Advice and Assistance for Manufacturers
When Charles Darwin studied, characterized and published his theories about the evolution of species, the main theme was all about adapting to change. Change happens. Sometimes those changes threaten the very existence of the species and sometimes the change insures its survival.
In nature, the changes tend to be random – the result of certain traits emerging due to the mixing of DNA into unique combinations. Where there is little or no mixing of genes (inbreeding) the species is locked in to certain characteristics and is doomed if those characteristics do not ensure survival. My wife and I are not particularly athletic. My daughter married a guy who enjoys rollerblading, biking and other physical activity. It is likely that my granddaughter will be more athletic than I am and would fare better if society breaks down and people have to run faster than the bears and coyotes that take over the earth. Ridiculous example, but you get the point.
Organizations also benefit from the intermixing of “genes”. It is better for the long-term health of your business to incorporate new people from backgrounds outside of your industry, new equipment and techniques from other disciplines, new ideas from other countries, other industries, other environments.
Most of the breakthrough products and technologies that are so successful, even so-called disruptive technologies are not totally new and unique. Nearly all are refinements of past ideas and products, combinations of technologies and applications from other fields, and/or new uses for old products or techniques.
I think most people have come to recognize the danger in a summary rejection of anything “not invented here” but it’s often a lot more subtle than that. We have to force ourselves to at least consider alternative approaches, alien technologies and techniques (by alien I mean something that is not in common use in your environment) and perhaps even those odd-ball, ridiculous off-the-wall absurdities that are far too easy to simply dismiss because nobody has ever done it that way.
You should educate yourself about what companies in other industries are doing and what they have accomplished. Hire creative and talented people that don’t have experience in your industry – you can train them about how your business works but you can’t so easily train “insiders” to think outside the box.
Let evolution work for your business.