It Won’t Work Here

It Won’t Work Here
August 20, 2017 Gary Shotton

The culture that refuses to consider change, will most likely be out of business in a few short years. By Gary Shotton #000151

Click Here to download in audio (.mp3 format); right click on link and select “save as”

Click Here to download in video (.mp4 format); right click on link and select “save as”

It Won’t Work Here

By Gary Shotton

Hello, my name is Gary Shotton and we’re here as a part of this global initiative to Inspire Better Business. Today we’re going to talk about a phrase or a group of words that I’ve heard many times “It won’t work here”. That comes sometimes on just an individual basis, sometimes in a company, we might go talk to a company and they just said well yeah that’s a great idea but it won’t work here. Especially when we go to a foreign country, there’s the opinion or the view and in some degrees, they’re right about the fact that I don’t really understand their culture, and I don’t understand the things that they’re facing, and so, even the advice like I’m sharing with you right here right now might be turned off, because well Gary’s in America. It will work if it was in America but it won’t work here, you don’t understand. But after talking to literally hundreds of people, and being in more than 30 countries and being after this for more than 40 years, I’ve come to learn that you know the situations in life are not all that different. Marriage problems could be marriage problems. But you know you probably could group those problems into four or five categories, and go get some marriage counseling. Because your marriage, your situation, your job, your business, they’re not that unique even though you might think so.

So, we’re going to talk about my friend David. He is a great guy. We’re good friends. He’s traveled with me and he’s a consultant. I’m sitting here in my business and he’s come in as a paid consultant and helped us be more efficient, help us change things, help us to push out cost, help us to increase sales, and he’s probably been in our company over the last six years. As many as 10, 15 times and we benefit every time he comes. I think he likes coming here because we kind of press this issue that it will work here, you do have some good ideas, we want that. Not everybody now. There’s always those I just won’t work until you prove it. But I was sitting in a meeting and David was telling this group of people and he said these exact same words. He would go into businesses and almost invariably the leadership says yeah, but our deal is different, what you’re describing sounds so good but it will not work here. Oh, just a second. There’s gravity work pretty well the same around the world. The answer to that is yes. This is a law of lift where airplanes take off and land overcoming the law of gravity. Does that work pretty well the same around the world? I think the answer is yes. So, we’re trying to introduce truth that is globally true, universally true. Would be true a hundred years ago, true today, true 100 years from now if our society is anywhere like it is now because people are people.

Let’s back to David. He would go into companies maybe it’s an efficiency event that would be a process of becoming more efficient and it’s to do with management. The management leaders think well our business is different you need to understand all about our business. No, you really don’t. You’re taking an order, you’re processing an order, you’re handling a certain amount of paper, you’re answering the phone, you’re making too many copies, or you’re not using the computer enough, or you don’t have a good enough system, or you don’t have a good enough up way of hiring good people, you see a systems and processes. If you have listened to me very long at all you’ll know that that’s my home base.

David would come in and help our company and other companies to create new and better systems. So, when he walks away and leaves he’s not here every day, we can take those encouragements, those lessons, and implement them, and then we permeate them throughout the company. Now we have changed the culture of the company. That has to be what I call good soil. We’re good soil. Because when somebody gives us an idea we try to engulf it, and we try to make the change. Now some of the companies I know he goes to and the people I see they’re just hard fast bent on that their way has been the best way. We have done it that way for hundreds of weeks, not years. I was going to say years that’s not true, months. I started this company, I created this, I have done all this. How can you suggest that what I’m doing is not the right way or good enough? Well, that’s why we’re consultants, that’s why we come and help, because we think that you can make some changes that are consistent with other things we’ve seen. That idea of it won’t work here is really goes across the society.

I mentioned earlier that I’ve been in many countries. This is for sure true when I a white American living in the middle of the most prosperous nation in the world, and I go teach a lesson like this to someone. I love my African friends. I’ve been to Africa many times. I go every year to Africa, but it’s very consistent there, that I’m a white guy in front of an all-black African audience. And the entire audience it’s read through their eyes they’re looking at me with a little bit of glaze. No matter what I say, they’re saying well that won’t work here. That is so cool, but you don’t understand what we’re facing. And I’m saying yes, if you’ll give it a chance maybe a modified version it will work.

They’re thinking man if you just buy me a ticket to America and I could take this lesson you just taught as long as I live in America and I can make this work. No that’s not true. The lessons we’re teaching and virtually all of these presentations are globally true. Now you have to adapt them a little bit, but they’re globally true. In my case, I’ve come to the point in these developing nations, and it’s not just Africa, I’m going to be in just five weeks in Honduras. It’s a Central American country. It’s all Spanish. I’m going to face the same thing. Well if I can move to America I could do that. No. So, well I’m going to be in the country of Serbia. It’s a country across the bay from Italy and in former Russian bloc. I’m going to run across. I know I’m going to run across this.

So, my solution or part of that solution to this is to inspire people. Maybe some of you watching here that you in your culture if you will endorse this not endorse me. But you will grab a hold of the teachings we’re talking about, and you will become a part of that and apply it into your business, or whatever you’re doing and you’ll start seeing good results. You will need to become the spokesman, for much of this truth. Not the spokesman for me, not the spokesmen for this organization, but to inspire better business in your culture. Because they are really too big of a hurdle on this subject it won’t work here for me as an American many times to make that job. So, I’m always looking for coaches and speakers that will help us in this endeavor. Some of the problems are people are just absolutely too proud to say that the way they’re doing it wasn’t good. Some people have tunnel vision, all they’re doing is looking right down a little tunnel they need to back up and look a little bigger, and look into the overall bigger picture. There’s more than just day to day and some people are just absolutely too proud. I hope you’re none of those. I hope you listen. I hope you’ll be a part of this. I hope you listen to other teachings to inspire better business. Thank you


  1. Tim Rovenstne 5 years ago

    So perfectly well spoken. Received and can apply in any area

  2. Ralph Elliott 5 years ago

    It wont work here is a classic excuse used everywhere, certainly in the Middle East as well. I have encountered this many times. This like all the titles have listened to is a good presentation of a theme that needs to be shared widely. Great job!

  3. Jim Furr 5 years ago

    Great talk this week, Gary, on the “It Won’t Work Here” mantra. Your comments remind me of the book “WalSmart” by William Marquard. When Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, opens a store in a small town, the result, as you know, is often that the small retailers in that town, because they’re unable to compete, shut their doors. Marquard argues in his book that if instead of quitting they’ll look for a niche in the market that their company can fill, they can still have a very profitable business. Unfortunately, many are too prideful to make the change. They’d rather just complain and give up.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.


Share This