In my longest-running sales role, I worked for a company that had the world’s largest database of consumer purchase history. So I had access, at my fingertips, to billions of pieces of data. As I was preparing presentations that I would deliver to my client, it was my responsibility to distill all of that data, all of those insights, and determine what I would put into this presentation.

Well, now in my role as I’m consulting and working with organizations, I work with scientists a lot – and scientists have access to probably just as much data and information that I did. And these scientists are responsible for presenting data, whether that’s internally or externally, but they present this information, these metrics, this science, to their audience. And we’ve been finding that there is this kind of resistance, if you will, to how the data, the insights, are shared with the audience.

In one particular situation, I found that the group was really resistant to the training and the coaching that I was offering on how or in what way to distill the data, and then how would that be shared out. And they were resistant simply because it’s not the way it’s always been done. They had a particular way that, throughout the organization, data had been shared. But what was interesting is there didn’t seem to be any hard and faster rules; there wasn’t the CEO or President coming down and saying, “This IS the way it has to be done.”

It was just habit.

Every single scientist, they had fallen into the same exact kind of template or form that their predecessors had, even though it was not working. So take a look at how you’re presenting information, or quite frankly, going about anything in your day-to-day job. Is there a better way to do it, that maybe you believe is the way it’s supposed to be done, but there’s really no rule to it?

Challenge yourself. Get out there and find creative, unique new ways that could essentially make you better at what you do, even though it may not be traditionally how it’s always been done!