Shiny Object Syndrome: What is it? How can it affect your Business?

Shiny Object Syndrome: What is it? How can it affect your Business?

Man thinking in office

What is Shiny Object Syndrome?

Shiny Object Syndrome is the human tendency to get distracted by a new trend or idea. Imagine eating at a buffet, you keep adding every new dish you see onto your plate without finishing the previous one. This will eventually lead to a pile of random dishes on your plate, and the worst part is you didn’t even get to savor a single dish properly. You probably wouldn’t see yourself doing this at a buffet, but you will certainly be able to draw an analogy concerning hobbies, movies, skilling up, and more.

This was speaking in terms of individuals, now let us scale up to an organization or business. Think of the widespread consequences if a business fell prey to the Shiny Object Syndrome.

Why is it a problem?

Your team just had a meeting with the manager, and out of the blue, your team was given a different goal, and this isn’t the first time this has happened. Your team will definitely have second thoughts about the decision-making process. Who wouldn’t have doubts if their leader constantly keeps changing goals and operating procedures? All this because they saw a new trend in the industry and they wanted to join the bandwagon too.

The pursuit of new trends and ideas can leave current projects unfinished, and anyone working on them will soon lose interest because of all this switching around. It will further lead to the diversion and wastage of critical resources, stagnation of projects, inability to meet deadlines, and other roadblocks, eventually causing the downfall of the business.

How to avoid it?

Finishing what you started should be the priority. Before trying or introducing something untested or new into your business, make sure the current system is stable. Start on a small scale, without wasting any critical resources.

Once a plan or Roadmap is drawn, it is best to stick with it till the end, and only make changes if it is absolutely necessary. In this Digital era, the fear of missing out is more real than ever, but randomly trying to adopt every new trend or idea is definitely not the way to go. Research the new idea thoroughly before giving it any consideration, and check if it aligns with your business goals.

Is Shiny Object Syndrome Bad?

Is fire bad because it can burn down forests and buildings to ashes? Or is it good because we use that very fire to light lamps and cook food? Everything depends on usage. In many cases, not latching on to the Shiny Object Syndrome has caused market leaders to disappear into obscurity. New ideas and trends are excellent opportunities to capture the market, you only have to know what is bankable and what is not. So to reiterate, Shiny Object Syndrome is bad only if you bet on the wrong trends or ideas, or mess up the planning and execution.

The fate of the business is left to your judgment, one wrong move and it can suffer an irrecoverable loss. Catch on to the right idea or trend and your business will be propelled to the market forefront.