“We’re all gonna get into a fight!”
Pink – So What
We need to mix it up, as in fighting. Not in the ring but our organization, on our brand. We need to rumble to get beyond the “right” answer. Why? In an organization, the right answer is usually “the first executional expedient solution that has consensus.” However, it is rarely the “correct” answer, when dealing with a marketing related issue, whether that be a problem or opportunity for the brand.
There are a few factors that inhibit our ability to get to the correct answer. These include:
- Not having a point-of-view – Marketers are frequently not prepared with a point-of-view on an issue. They expect to formulate it as they go along because they are far too busy executing to think. If they do have a point-of-view, it can be rather superficial.
- Groupthink – Once an issue is raised marketers, like others in an organization, will “go along to get along.”
- Absence of courage – It takes courage to break away from the herd mentality. While diversity is much ballyhooed, real diversity, the intellectual kind, is often discouraged, perhaps not in word but deed.
- Eminence versus evidence – There are few, if any, relevant facts (evidence) to advance a decision. Instead, the answer defaults to the senior people (eminence) who are often the furthest from the marketplace and customer and, therefore, in many instances, are less knowledgeable.
So, how should we rumble to get to the “correct” answer?
Let’s rumble so we can find our way to the correct answer on any, and all, marketing related issues.
- Nothing but the facts – We need to come prepared with cold, hard facts. It’s unlikely that we will reach the correct answer unless we are basing it upon facts, as opposed to supposition, eminence or how we’ve always approached similar issues.
- Encourage real, intellectual diversity – Be open to, and encourage, diverse points-of-view. Play devil’s advocate with your point-of-view. Perhaps, even, assign someone the role of “designated a-hole.” This role isn’t a license to be obnoxious but, instead, to peel the onion to expose any red flags, and highlight previously overlooked opportunities.
- (Wo)man-up – Speak-up to advocate your point-of-view. However, remember, support it with facts! Also, don’t forget to listen to, and consider, others’ point-of-view. This is not a debate but a hearing.
- Diverge before you converge – We need to get beyond one “right” answer. It’s the proverbial “shots on goal.” The more shots you take, the better your opportunity to score with a winning solution. If you think you have the right answer, great. Don’t stop there! Put it in your pocket and seek to beat it with the correct one. The one that will work to make your brand matter more.