At The Masters Forum one year, Hamel talked of how convention stifles innovation. To illustrate, he focused on banks and asked - rhetorically - what might change in terms of day-to-day operations and/or strategic planning if two banks were to swap top management teams. His answer: nothing. Why? Because the banking industry has conventions - principles, practices, and protocols - which are followed by 99.99% of all banks and bankers. These conventions have been passed from one generation of bankers to the next, and their very deep roots virtually insure that any major innovations in banking will come from outside the industry.
For banks or bankers who want to challenge the conventions of the industry, Hamel suggested holding a conversation centered around these questions.
- What are 10 things you would never hear a customer say about a bank or bankers?
- What conventions do these statements represent?
- If we overturn these conventions, what new opportunities or new ways doing business emerge?
"To know what everyone knows is to know nothing." - Remy de Gourmont
"Engineers brought up and living in affluent Japan have no chance of understanding the needs of the next billion." - Fumio Ohtsubo, Panasonic president, as quoted by Financial Times
"Not only do we as individuals get locked into single-minded views, but we also reinforce these views for each other until the culture itself suffers the same mindlessness." - Ellen J. Langer
"The journey is hard, for the secret place where we have always been is overgrown with thorns and thickets of “ideas,” of fears and defenses, prejudices and repressions." - Peter Matthiessen, The Snow Leopard
"Success is dangerous. One begins to copy oneself, and to copy oneself is more dangerous than to copy others. It leads to sterility." - Pablo Picasso
"Tunnel vision is a disease in which perception is restricted by ignorance and distorted by vested interest." - Tom Robbins, Still Life With Woodpecker