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    Try a Hybrid Approach

    I recently attended a golf tournament where the top golfer stepped up for a short chip and pulled out a club that I didn’t expect. It was a hybrid club, which is normally designed for much longer shots. He made a nice shot, leaving me to think, “I should do that.” I’m not a good chipper with the typical clubs for this distance.

    IMG_6961We can easily get set in our traditional ways or think we need to choose from one option or another. Yet, a combination may be the best choice.

    The hybrid club in golf has become popular in recent years. The design combines aspects from both irons and woods. I asked the golfer afterward why he chose the hybrid. He shared that he didn’t have success with wedges. So, instead of doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result, he tried a very non-traditional approach using the hybrid club around the green. And it worked well.

    What’s a shot you need to consider taking with a hybrid approach? There are many benefits to giving the hybrid a try:

    • Achieve better results.
      IMG_1227This may be a top reason for choosing a hybrid approach. After seeing the golfer’s results with a hybrid club, I tried it myself and it worked pretty well. At Marco, we recently developed a program that allows us to continue to take orders for printer and copier supplies, but have them automatically drop-shipped from the suppliers. Our customers get the products faster and it saves us time, space and labor. A hybrid approach can help improve accuracy and consistency.

    • Overcome obstacles.
      Where we face obstacles and even feel forced to choose one path or another, hybrids can carve out a new one. We’ve seen that recently with the physical limitations during the pandemic, especially in our schools as they prepared for reopening this fall. Some chose a hybrid learning model that combines distance learning and in-person instruction. While it has required teachers, administrators and teams to retool their approaches and build new schedules, it also is showing us new possibilities for our education system. 

    • Provide time to develop and grow.
      We’ve seen this with automobiles and the evolution of the electric engine. It sounded risky at first. Manufacturers learned that they don’t have to choose between electric or gasoline. They can use a hybrid to allow consumers to become more accustom to the options and give industry time to build out charging stations and infrastructure to support electric vehicles.

    • Create something new.
      Hybrids challenge us to innovate and can lead us to invent new products. Take gardening. Thanks to hybrids, we can grow more vibrant flowers and more flavorful food. When I was younger, we had a couple of apples to choose from. Today, there are 2,500 varieties grown in the United States alone. The Honeycrisp apple – my favorite – was developed in Minnesota specifically for taste: crisp, with balanced sweetness.

      We’ve seen this in technology again and again. Tablets — developed as a cross between a laptop and a smartphone — have become an increasingly popular choice. Apple shipped over 14 million iPads worldwide in the second quarter of this year alone.

    There certainly are benefits to trying the hybrid approach. What traditional practices aren’t working for your organization now?

    When you’re faced with Plan A or Plan B, consider how you can blend the two. Take the workforce. As employers, we don’t have to choose between all remote or all in person when the pandemic limitations subside. Give yourself freedom to be unconventional, think differently and execute the unexpected.

    Many organizations are giving a hybrid a try to achieve results in recent months. Discover new opportunities to consider in the latest episode of Let’s Tech podcast. Hear how the hybrid model is transforming the business model of the YMCA and expanding its reach despite physical limitations.

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