[IMGCAP(1)]A few months ago, in the dead of winter, my wife Colleen said she wanted rib-eye for dinner that Saturday. My mouth salivated at the thought of the char-crust, coated steaks, hot-seared on the grill and then slow cooked to medium rare. It was true perfection achieved through a trial-and-error approach of probably a decade. Then I thought about the fact that it was about 20 degrees outside and my grill was covered in five inches of snow. The desire for rib-eye evaporated quickly.

Two days later, the January 2013 issue of Bon Appetit arrived. An article inside promised the secrets to “pan-roasting” pork chops, rib eye, and other meats I only thought should be on a grill.

Weighing the pros and cons of bailing on a trusted and proven methodology (as well as the potential for frostbite) we ultimately decided to see what this new method could offer. So, with a bottle of red wine in tow, we tried the technique of pan-roasting and broiling our rib-eye in the oven. Not only did I avoid the 20 degree weather, the steak was the best, juiciest, most perfectly cooked steak Colleen and I had ever tasted. (P.S. if you think it was because I burned the steak beyond recognition every time before you are wrong! That is my father.)

Here’s what this whole process reminded me of and how it relates to marketing and growth: You don’t know what you’re missing until you give it a shot and consider that there could be something better out there. And of course I wasn’t even looking for it. It just came to me, and I accepted it – I gave it a shot.

The discipline of growth in your firm will require trying new things, and trying new ways of doing old things. The most experienced and sophisticated marketers and growth officers try new things all the time, and they balance their risk with the potential reward. Some ideas flat-out fail to produce measurable results while others generate seven-figure engagements. The problem is that you can’t be sure what will work until you try something new, and if you have your eyes closed to the possibility you will never get the chance to try.

So the next time you think you have perfected your sales technique, lead-generation program, new client on-boarding process, referral source network, cross-selling program, website, social media presence, internal marketing culture, staff training program, niche focuses, M&A strategy, or even your overall approach to growth, do not block out the possibility of doing things an entirely new way and achieving results you never thought possible.

And, I can offer a simple suggestion on how to get your head around this entire concept: pan-roast a rib-eye! Contact me for the recipes I discussed above and I guarantee it will get you thinking about what else you might want to try doing differently.

Art Kuesel is the president of Kuesel Consulting where he helps CPA firms perfect their growth strategies and actions to drive revenue in the door. He can be reached at art@kueselconsulting.com or 312-208-8774.