It is strange but true. Despite there being new and better ways of doing common tasks most of use continue to carry on in the same old way as we have done before. The tried and tested way seems to win out every time.

Is it because we cannot see how the new way will make our lives simpler? Is it that we really do undertake a thorough assessment of the new opportunity offered to us and rationally demonstrate to ourselves that there is no point in making a change? Or are we just a little bit scared of doing something different and fearful of making a dog’s dinner of it? I have my theory, but whatever the answer the effect is that we continue to miss out on the huge benefits of using someone else’s invention or idea for our benefit.

I will concede that technology has been advancing at an unprecedented rate and we are all having to continually learn new approaches to old problems. This is probably not something that our stone-age ancestors had to deal with, but it sometimes seems as if we continue to wield a club at a problem when a subtler approach is at hand.

Even when it comes to contemporary situations it seems to me that if we tried just a bit harder then we may find a whole new world of opportunities open up before us. And on the way we are likely to overtake our rivals who are perhaps less adventurous, less confident or maybe just a bit lazier than us.

One such example is the use of advanced techniques in personal computing, and specifically the advantages of using templates when developing and using excel spreadsheets. Such a useful technique will save time when creating new spreadsheets and standardise the way that reports are constructed. As small an advance as that may seem in the great scheme of things, it is the sort of subtle step that will start to differentiate a successful business to one that is just getting by.

Why? Because it will show to your customers that you have a greater degree of mastery over your tools and place you in a better position to your competition.
It also means that you can stop reinventing the wheel each time you build a spreadsheet and instead choose to take down from the shelf one that you have made earlier.

It is simple really.

If I have inspired you to look a little further then head to the ICAEW IT blog.

So in future put down your club and take up your template.

Dave White

Author Dave White

Dave helps Tech Entrepreneurs grow their businesses using the best in Cloud and Business Intelligence technology. He serves on the IT Faculty Committee of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in London and he advises a growing portfolio of early-stage tech companies in Bristol, Bath, Canary Wharf and Tech City.

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