“If It Ain’t Broke… Break It!” book reflection #1

Robert Kriegel and Louis Patler published this book in the early 90’s, just as I was getting married and starting my career in sales. In the introduction, Kriegel provides some future projections about the exponential change that will occur in business and how conventional methods will be challenged. Little did I know just how fast my life and my business world would change over the next 20 plus years, and how accurate the author was in his predictions.

The most impressive aspect of his thought process is how relevant his opinions have been over a period of time that has seen such explosive change. To this point I have read the first three chapters and I am enjoying the short-story, real-life examples he uses to make his point. Until this week I had never heard of Schumpeter’s “creative destruction” theory, but having learned what this economist wrote in the 50’s makes perfect sense.

As I read this book, the cause and reaction to change is fascinating. Business leaders must adapt to a game that is ever changing and find comfort with disposing of tried and true for new and fresh. Having Passion for what to do is key, and daring to push the limits is the challenge for everyone. Ride the wave of change and ride it well!

Reference; “If It Ain’t Broke…Break It!” by
Robert Kriegel and Louis Patler

9 thoughts on ““If It Ain’t Broke… Break It!” book reflection #1

  1. The title of this book makes me really want to read it one day!

    “Little did I know just how fast my life and my business world would change over the next 20 plus years, and how accurate the author was in his predictions.”

    This statement makes me a little nervous for my future! But I guess also excited. I think now might be one of the most difficult times to be an entrepreneur because of how fast this can change, it’s crazy how right the authors were in this book.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Devon,

    When I initially read your book title, I was reminded of so many conversations I have had at work with my peers. Three years ago, I joined the RDU Operations Department as the newest staff addition in 11 years to a group of 7 employees. All of them had very close relationships and they knew the airport better than anybody having worked there for so long (the oldest employee had been working there for 37 years!). On the other hand, here was me, a 24-year old millennial, coming from an airport in Texas and relatively fresh out of college. Needless to say that our approaches to dealing with a number of issues was drastically different. The team was effective in getting the job done, but not efficient. Just to give you an idea, they were collecting statistical data in Word documents rather than Excel because some team members were not proficient in Excel. When I inquire about this practice I was told, “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.” My response to such comment was: “So is the typewriter in the storage closet, why are we using computers? There is more efficient ways of getting things done!” Time after time, I experienced resistance to my ideas and approaches, but after seeing some of the results we were able to produce by changing our practices they were fully in. My department was experiencing significant stagnation and complacency; however, we were able to turn things around and start integrating technology and other leading industry practices. I witness a huge transformation within out department by doing exactly what your book is advocating: If it’s not broken, break it!

    Best regards,

    -Jose F. Saavedra

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hello Devon. Thank you for sharing your first book reflection. I would agree that there has been “explosive change” in the business world over the last few decades. I would assume that there will be lots of illustrations of Creative Destruction judging by the title of the book you are reflecting upon. Reaction to change is an important skill set to have. Maybe more importantly than even reacting to change is noticing when change is happening around us. I continuously remind myself that the only constant in life is change. I’ll look forward to your future reflections along with collaborating with you in the future.

    ~Chris Ivesdal

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  4. Hi Devon,

    Do you feel that the predictions in the book are up to speed with today’s technology? The book I’m reading was published in 2002 (I was just 6 years old!) and so far, I feel like I’m reading a book that is present, although it was near 17 years ago since publishing. I can’t wait to read the rest of your reflections on this book to gain some insight on the lessons you’re learning from the book.


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  5. Devon,

    I really enjoy your writing style – to the point and entertaining. If it Ain’t Broke…Break It sounds really interesting and ties in with some of what I’m reading about in my book called, Seeing What’s Next: Using the Theories of Innovation to Predict Industry Change. Your comment about entrepreneurs/business leaders needing to adapt to constant change and industry growth is on point with what I’m reading also about competitive advantage and how to use disruptive innovation to your advantage in the market. I look forward to reading up-coming blogs!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Devon,
    The title “If It Ain’t Broke… Break It” sounds interesting enough. I can see why you’ve chosen this book to read and blog about. I’m interested to know more of the predictions Robert Kreigel discusses over twenty years ago, that are still relevant today. I, myself, have never heard of the theory of “creative destruction”. So, I researched it. The idea is fairly interesting, makes a lot of sense, and puts things into perspective. Even though Schumpeter expanded this theory from Karl Marx, which originally spoke about economic theory, creative destruction can be used for many aspects of live. In theory, when thinking of innovation, if one pushes a product to destruction, the rise of a better product can be developed. I will keep this in mind for future advancements.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Good start to this blog process. I as well have not heard of “creative destruction”, so I’ll surely check further into that as this course moves along. Imagine our world in the early 90’s. It surely was different then. As a sales person did you have a pager, and every time it went off you had to find a corner pay phone? Or if you were lucky you were in the office or at home but just as the pay phone you were stuck in place. Now today 99% of us have cell phones. What could you do without a cell phone today?

    In many ways the internet and the cell phone which really took off in the mid-90’s was the beginning of the end of my first career. I spent 26 years in the newspaper business, not as a writer, but in operations. Over time the day old news on the driveway just was not enough. Consumers wanted instant gratification. They wanted instant news. The internet and the TV stations would get out a story quickly. Breaking news was everywhere. Over time, in the early 2000’s the newspaper business changed to “good enough” meaning the publisher said that we had to be faster to market by putting a story out quickly on our website. We had to get the story or the message out fast enough, and it had to be “good enough” so that we did not embarass ourselves, just as the national media did with the 16 year old Catholic student from Covington KY, and the American Indian activist. Clearly, they got that one very wrong, and the kid and his school suffers as a result.

    I look forward to reading more of your blogs.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Some of the most interesting books to read are those that have almost “predicted” the future. There is something so unique about experiencing deja vu from something written before the events occurred. I look forward to reading your upcoming posts and learning more about some of the predictions that were made

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hello Devon, I agree with and sometimes struggle with your last statement. It is easy as business leaders to go back to the well and continue to roll out the same strategy if it isn’t broken. I attempt to challenge myself daily to incorporate change and fresh ideas into my department’s strategy. I believe that is the only way to stay ahead of the game and not get left behind.

    Liked by 1 person

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