The Cambridge English Dictionary defines tradition as “a belief, principle, or way of acting that people in a particular society or group have continued to follow for a long time”. The belief or principle evolves and becomes trusted, such that it governs the activities of the group that adopts it. Different professions have traditions that help to regulate their processes. Organisations also evolve traditions to which staff members usually adhere. It is vital to sustainability. Without it, critical decisions will be left to the discretion of people who are perhaps not qualified to take such initiatives. If you want to ensure that particular values are sustained and passed on to the future of your business, you need to establish a tradition. Here some reasons:
- It creates identity: tradition holds a deep meaning for those who subscribe to it. ‘Reason’ becomes less critical in customers’ choice from very similar brands. It then comes down to the brand that stands out the most. Developing valuable beliefs and principles for your business stands you out. The business will become more meaningful, and people will connect with you on a deeper level. One of the reasons we proudly associate with an organisation is what it stands for.
- It ensures consistency: unpredictability may be exciting under some circumstances, but not all the time. Would you like your Internet access to be unpredictable? Would you want your employer to be unpredictable? Would you want your airline to be unpredictable? Would you want your bank services to be unpredictable? In business, consistency is valuable. Some organisations are over a hundred years old, yet they maintain uncompromised quality of service priceless traditions.
- It strengthens a movement: a house divided against itself cannot stand. When there are conflicting values within the same entity, collapse is imminent. When the leadership of an organisation possesses a set of values, and the staff possess another, trouble is looming.
- It protects: while some traditions are established based on hindsight, others are adopted to forestall potential problems. For instance, an organisation can preempt growth challenges by taking measures to eliminate potentially problematic trends. Traditions serve as protective boundaries.