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Inactivity Bores the Beast
by Andy
October 28, 2015

A-Sabre-tooth-catThere were three fantastic posts this week on my Linked-In feed with helpful, powerful insights.  One from TopRight Partners recapping a recent Masters of Marketing Conference mandating, among other things, better customer experiences (http://bit.ly/1jRcbxB), another from The Economist on the sloth-like nature of large corporations and the downward spiral they seem to be on (http://econ.st/1NAEs5b), and an interview with Louis Gerstner on how to turn around a large company and his experiences at IBM (http://bloom.bg/1k4yijE).

I highly recommend you click on all three.  All provided excellent food for thought and pointed out some very core truths.

  1. Process can be cancerous to growth.
  2. Disruption is critical in a cluttered world.
  3. Corporate structure and traditional methods are failing.

Sitting idly by and hoping once tried-and-true methods work again, when they’re clearly not working now, is a recipe for disaster and the market is proving that.  The examples cited were mostly in the consumer space as they tend to enjoy broader interest.  But the same clearly holds true for B2B.  Dana Anderson’s quote about her company (Mondelez International) being, “an 800-lb. gorilla living in a unicorn world” is very applicable.  Technology has seismically changed everything.  Buyers are younger and motivated differently.  Achieving short-term results in a long-term world is exceedingly difficult.

Optimizing your process only matters if you’ve isolated the optimal opportunity and determined the best way to get there.  And straying from that strategic path is never ideal and has its own risks.  To alleviate that fear of re-aligning toward a brighter future during lethargic times, simultaneously create new paths toward new opportunities as one of them will likely open up.  And once an opportunity crack opens up, plow through it with all your might like Louis Gerstner did with IBM.

The beast is not your company or your offering.  The beast is the market.  The slower and less agile you become, the easier the beast can consume you whole.

One Response to “Inactivity Bores the Beast”

  1. Andy,

    Great post.

    I agree with this 100% – “Optimizing your process only matters if you’ve isolated the optimal opportunity and determined the best way to get there.”

    Convergent Thinking process is far too common in large corporations. “Group consensus” determines the process to be optimized. (And the wrong questions are often asked to arrived at the process getting optimized.)

    The correct answer is always optimizing for the customer experience, and that means taking on a more Divergent Thinking/Design Thinking approach, requiring empathy.

    And unfortunately, empathy is not a quality that comes naturally to large corporations.

    Keep up the great thinking, Andy!


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