Stuck in a Rut and Don’t Know It?

by | Feb 7, 2016

It was evening at the Wild Horse Pass Hotel and Casino. I checked in after a long flight to Phoenix and, like always, I scouted out the facility for the next day. I don’t think you’d be surprised to learn that the thing that grabbed my attention first was the amazing casino that was in the vicinity – I’ve become familiar with what makes casinos great after playing so many online (you’d be surprised how much overlap there is between them and physical casinos). When it comes to what to consider when playing online, quality – as it is in physical locations – is certainly something to keep in mind. In fact, it was probably one of the nicest ones I have ever seen, and I’m sure the one in the hotel will be full to the brim soon. It actually makes me feel like I should’ve brushed up my skills on an online casino platform like xe888 before coming here, as if I’m going to try my hand at the many games on offer, I want to make sure I have the best chance at winning the jackpot. I know that there is a lot of people that try online casinos, so I can’t be the only person who thinks like this? It’s worth noting though, that if you are going to try an online casino, you should read up on what to know before you gamble online to make sure you are prepared.

Once I came back to reality, I continued with my search. I asked the hotel clerk, “Where can I get breakfast in the morning?” “Yes, ma’am. Café 24/7 is just around the corner in the casino. You can’t miss it.” Sure enough…among the blinking lights and chiming bells of the casino, Café 24/7 was lit up in big neon letters. I wondered if its close location to the casino helped business of hindered it since they probably only ever got customers from either the hotel or those feeling peckish after a night on the slot machines. Perhaps the emergence of online gambling, which I read more about on a site similar to Times of Malta, meant fewer people were visiting. Well, they had a customer in me at least. The host stood by the door next to a large menu mounted on the wall. As I read the menu, he asked, “May I help you?” “Oh, I’m just looking for a place for breakfast in the morning.” Smiling, he said, “You’ve come to the right place. We have breakfast.” “Great,” I said, “What time do you open?” …silence on his end. “Oh,” I murmered – realizing that 24/7 meant 24/7. It was right there in front of me all the time. But I was expecting a restaurant like all the other hotel restaurants and consequently I didn’t recognize the difference.

How many times does that happen in our business? We are in a groove; we know how our processes work; and the way they’ve always worked. A new opportunity, new trend, or new technology may be staring us in the face and we don’t see it.

If it’s any consolation, this is natural because it’s the way the brain is designed. The brain wants to work in the most efficient and easiest way. It’s easier and faster to do what’s always been done. There’s less to think about. But in a rapidly changing world, this doesn’t work. Instead you need to continually improve, anticipate future trends and change with the times.

How do you coax your brain into thinking new thoughts and force it out of the rut that it doesn’t even know it’s in? Here are three easy ways to make sure you’re seeing beyond the expected to find new opportunities.

  1. Ask staff. Your staff are a rich source of new ideas if you take advantage of them. They may be closer to the client, customer, supplier, technology than you are. It’s particularly useful to seek input from those of different generations or different backgrounds. They see the world differently and will notice opportunities that slip past you.
  2. Connect with colleagues. Colleagues within your organization provide a fresh perspective from an organizational vantage point similar to yours. They may have a different take on the boss, board or others in the organization. Their experience and history gives them viewpoints that may elude you. For sticky situations in particular, your colleagues are a useful first stop in assessing options to move forward.
  3. Use your professional association. Professional associations are a gathering place for people with similar interests as you. Networking in the halls or over a glass of beer or wine after the sessions end is a highlight of association conferences. Topics that would bore others at a cocktail party are riveting and relevant here. Ask about new business approaches, technology trends, or successful approaches for engaging clients.

Whether you talk with staff, colleagues or others in your industry, these discussions will broaden your thinking just when you think you’ve heard it all. You’ll break out of the rut you didn’t know you were in when your brain thinks new thoughts. Maybe you uncover a new process, procedure, market or -maybe even breakfast.


Author Byline: Founder and CEO of Blue Fjord Leaders, Shelley Row P.E. CSP, was named by Inc. Magazine as one of the top 100 leadership speakers. Professional engineer and former senior executive, she was recognized as one of the best minds in advanced traffic management systems.

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