Looking for Good Ideas among Well-intended Misfires

By Peter L DeHaan, PhD

Peter L DeHaan, publisher of TAS TraderMany years ago in another industry, my boss shared his grand suggestion to save money and boost productivity. It was insightful but had a critical flaw that would render it unworkable. He was enough removed from the day-to-day workings of our operation that he was unaware of the hole in his logic.

As the TAS industry continues to consolidate, investment comes from the outside. These folks have their own grand ideas of how they will save money and boost productivity. Most all of the time they are wrong. Their ideas are not realistic and may not even be feasible, but they lack the intimate, practical, day-to-day knowledge to realize that.

Notice I said “most of the time.” This means that occasionally outsiders bring a truly innovative idea into the TAS industry. But if we’re not careful we will dismiss it as being ill conceived, despite their good intentions.

The key is to keep an open mind, to not hold our time-proven SOP (standard operating procedure) as sacrosanct. This is easier to say than to do. But just because we’ve always done something a certain way, doesn’t mean we can’t find a better method to do it, a means to save money or boost productivity. So we must respectfully consider an outsider’s plan to change our ways – they just may be right.

However, those on the outside looking in must balance their great ideas with the seasoned pragmatism of insiders. After all, most of the time we will be right.

Peter DeHaan is publisher and editor of TAS Trader and Connections Magazine.