I found a valuable lesson buried in Kung Foo Hustle…
I love action flicks with a great plot. I typically don't care for cheeseball-B action movies or the sequel franchises that squeeze every bit of life out of a good story. Now and then though (thanks to my husband's love of every cheeseball, B-movie, and sequel franchise ever made) I am held hostage to watch one, and it unexpectedly holds my attention. That is how I came across Kung Foo Hustle.
Here is the google summary of the plot, for some context:
“When the hapless Sing and his dim-witted pal, Bone, try to scam the residents of Pig Sty Alley into thinking they're members of the dreaded Axe Gang, the real gangsters descend on this Shanghai slum to restore their fearsome reputation.”
Eventually, Sing gets his ‘chi' awakened and becomes the hero at the end of the movie, defeating the unbeatable Kung Fu Master, Beast, with his newfound genius. During Sing's debut scenes as the unexpected hero, he fights off gangsters left and right with mastery and at one point finds himself cornered by dozens of axe-wielding goons.
Here you'd typically see some Matrix style camera scrolling around Sing as he deftly springs up and runs across the faces of his enemies, but instead he does something unexpected. Sing stomps on the feet of those directly in front of them, smashing their toes and arches out of the sides of their shoes, very cartoon-esque. He pins these guys to a floor, thus stopping the advancing horde, and disarms his immediate threat; the bad guys throw down their axes in reflex to reach for their now, literally, flat feet.
Watching in the distance Beast, full of ridicule, says something akin to “that technique went out of style decades ago.” Moments later, while engaging with Sing himself, Beast becomes a victim of this outdated technique and loses his footing (no pun intended) in a pivotal part of the fight. I couldn't help but be struck by the irony. Sing doesn't WIN the fight with that move, but he does use it to further his movement towards defeating his enemy.
It doesn't matter if the technique you are using in your day to day business, or even one you are considering transitioning to, is considered OLD by business standards. If it's efficient and advances you towards your bigger goals, then it's just what you need.
There are no original moves. Only innovation on existing standards, new definitions for existing behaviors, and new techniques for reaching the same goals. Sing used what he needed and what was most effective at the moment he was cornered, rendering his immediate threat helpless and stopping the advancing tide of gangsters behind them. He didn't care about the freshness of the technique, only the results.
True masters of business kung fu utilize techniques that deliver results, despite what the cool kids are doing. Sometimes that means using a great new product or tool, sometimes that means going old-school and picking up the phone or pen and paper.
Be like Sing, utilize everything you've learned, not just what's hot in the business trends newsletters you're getting in your inbox. Every approach has merit in context; you may be missing out on something by ignoring what others are shuffling aside as ‘out of style'.