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Let’s Get Serious: Relevance over Trendiness

Overalls were a trend for a bit in the 1990’s. I had both the Kris Kross shorts version of overalls as well as the seven sizes too big pair of full overalls. Truly, I could have fit another person in there with me (don’t ask if I did…I would have to lie). Naturally, my dance moves while wearing the shorts version of overalls were on fleek. I was complimented for my stylish choices in clothing. Yet, when I look at pictures now of those huge overalls, I struggle to remember if the trend was ever attractive.

Trendy is not always helpful. It usually isn’t, to be honest. In work, the latest and greatest terms, issues and supposed chasms can serve as a distraction to an organization. We may run around chasing after those “quiet quitting” or those in the “great reshuffle.” Or we tell ourselves today we must be an inclusive culture but then tomorrow focus on being a best-in-class organization. The ebbing of our attention can show our immaturity and lack of seriousness.

How do we get serious?

  • Slow and Steady test – Not everything you read should be acted upon. That sentence may have just freed your mind. Even if it’s a promising idea, the bandwidth to tackle every opportunity is limited. Trying to put five good ideas into place at the same time may translate into five bad outcomes. And then trying to resuscitate them later is met with more resistance than you would have faced originally. The uphill climb is steeper, and the blame lies with you.
  • Grain of Salt test – Not everything that everyone writes or shares is correct. Boom, facts. Some people like to be trendy because it gets them likes and clicks. Their goals are different from yours. Take declarative and command statements with that grain of salt. Research more than one perspective and know the pros and cons. “Experts” may not have worked in the field for decades (or ever!) so be careful. We have the opportunity, sometimes only once, to sit with our leadership team and share these ideas; if we don’t come prepared, then we can lose credibility quickly.
  • Truth or Dare test – Relevance is a slippery slope. It’s not only the sharer of perspectives that is trying to be relevant, but the hearer and doer, too. Sometimes we can feel as though if we don’t do something, we might be seen as yesterday’s news. The action doesn’t make you relevant, but impact does. That’s why tried and true methods can still work and be adopted. The relevance isn’t in the trendiness but in the positive business impact, and that is ALWAYS relevant.

This is why we must be vigilant in our trendiness quotient. New ideas are important. We can’t just do things as we have without testing their impact and validity. But a better way to do things is not the same thing as being trendy. Trendiness becomes unappealing and ineffective in a short amount of time. Your team knows it.

Listen, I’m not wearing either of those overalls at this point. And let’s be thankful for that!


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