Anyone who’s visited a children’s playground in the past few years has likely noticed stark differences from the jungle gyms of the 1970s and early 1980s. Today’s equipment is very sanitized. There are very few ways for children to possibly injure themselves. Signs clearly indicate the age appropriateness of the equipment and discourage smaller children from trying the equipment designed for older children. Over the past 30 years, it has been increasingly common for towns, cities, and designers of playground equipment to create playgrounds that maximize safety and minimize the risk for the children and themselves.
Those who hang around playgrounds have also become accustomed to the sight of overprotective parents. These parents monitor their children’s every movement and interfere at the slightest suggestion of a struggle or their child having a disagreement with another child.
The motivations are understandable. No one wants children to get injured while playing. However, in an effort to keep children safe, developmental professionals have noticed in recent years that children are starting to miss out on some important parts of growing up. Children lack the opportunity to challenge themselves and learn to problem solve without adult interference. Some developmental experts have become increasingly concerned that many children today are not being provided with the chance to develop important life skills, such as managing risk or resolving conflict, and this could hinder them as adults.
What this means for business
Children today are teaching us all that challenge is critical for development. Challenge provides the opportunity to grow and learn. When we embrace the chance to try something new, we can learn from mistakes while also discovering interesting and useful information and skills. Embracing challenge is the key to getting ahead in life and in business. By judging risks, we all measure what we have to gain versus what we have to lose and decide if the jump is worth making. Learning to do this wisely can take a company to new heights.
How to apply these lessons to your business
As a business leader, take the opportunity to embrace challenges when they arise. Continually playing it safe isn’t the way to grow a company. Companies are able to grow and expand when the leaders test the boundaries of what the group is capable of achieving.
In marketing, this means being willing to try new techniques or experiment with exciting ideas. The current leaders in marketing didn’t get there by following the old leaders. Instead, they got creative with their ideas and experimented to see what worked. Businesses of all sizes can run the same types of experiments. Even small businesses can test to see what customers respond to better and what generates more conversations.
As you plan your marketing, find out what makes your consumer base unique, and use that information to develop lofty yet tangible goals for your company. Get the entire team excited about reaching those goals. Set the stage to encourage team members to gauge risks and take appropriate action to see what the company is capable of accomplishing. Determine where the company has room to grow, and develop plans to get there.
Playing on sterile, overly safe playgrounds with overprotective parents hovering over them has created an environment where many kids can no longer explore and determine their own capabilities. As developmental specialists warn us all against heading too far in that direction with the next generation, we must also be careful to avoid falling into that trap with our own lives and businesses.
Taking risks, stepping up and meeting challenges, and offering workers the chance to grow are essential keys to making a company successful. If you’re looking for ways to start reaching for the stars and want to take your marketing to the next level, give us a call. We’d be happy to help you get started.