One More Time: Tradition and Change

Amy Schuman
Amy Schuman

The Everlane clothing catalog arrived in our mailbox last week — not because my husband or I are customers, but because it’s a favorite of my 28-year-old son, Benjamin. Its offerings are very limited: beautifully made, affordable, pure cotton or cashmere clothing. They carry a small number of items such as t-shirts, hoodies, sweaters and skinny pants that are largely available only in black, white and grey.  (And in sizes much too small for me to order for myself.)

However, the headline on page one jumped out and grabbed me:

Everlane Catalog

This very young, web-based, nontraditional company is obsessed with the same question that keeps 100-year-old private firms up at night. “How can we honor the need for both tradition and change?”

The answer they come up with is the exact same as many of my clients: “Know your story.”

Be as clear as possible about the underlying purpose, value and vision of your endeavor. Make sure that any innovation is unequivocally aligned with your fundamental guiding principles. Bold, fresh actions never before taken by an organization can be perfectly in line with the historical vision. And Everlane appears to be a wonderful example.

How can you apply this insight to your own tradition/change challenges?

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