| 13 January 2010
Everybody is pulling our jacket today, and consultants and business book writers more than anybody else. Actually the latter seem to be the only ones thriving these days: just count the pre, during and post crisis titles…
In fact in each moment in history when everybody was confused and uncertain about the future, those who pretended to know what was going on and, moreover, to have an answer, had power, at least for a while.
JS Baskin in recent attendance to a congress interestingly made a comparison with the Black Death during the middle age: nobody knew what it was and how to cure it, nonetheless many proposed solutions. Some started the hunt for the culprits and tortured, and killed quite a few people; some preached withdrawal, some self-flagellation, some the wildest hedonism; some administered the weirdest medicines. Then it disappeared alone, leaving the population decimated and the world changed forever. Whom should we trust these days among the new magicians, prophets, doctors and right-away cheaters? What should we do?
Sure enough, not to hurry! The ancient Romans knew that the best way to make mistakes was to rush. Actually they recommended a good plan, timely executed as the best way to move forward fast, especially under pressure. Hence the expression “festina lente”, which roughly translates into “make haste slowly”. Yet today companies of all sizes bounce from one initiative to the other with the only result of worsening the situation, panicking even more, getting eventually into a tail spin.
We at Motu Novu are by nature against one-size-fits-all solutions, still the approach to find the right ones can be common and requires to “just” do the things good companies normally do, “just” a bit faster.
So while the others are behaving like kids in front of the last version of Call of duty shooting at everything that moves, we recommend you to ask yourself the following questions and
- Have you grown out of touch with your consumer base? Check whether your business core is still meaningful to your customers or if you need to redefine who they are.
- Are you tapping into your best resources? Start from your key employees and customers for advice.
- Check what is really working on the maket? Watch what the others do, but don’t just imitate, improve.
- Do you have an alternative plan? Test few, bold alternatives in parallel: listen to consumers, but don’t’ be afraid to show them the way.
- Where is the biggest opportunity? Attack your weakest competitors and/or move into new territories.
- Are you being sold the last consultants’ mumbo-jumbo? Don’t simply turn to those repeating the buzzwords of fashion, look for those that can help you zag when the others zig.
In case you would like to accelerate slowly enough to do the right thing, we have some people fit for the task (that know from Latin to internet) that have been there and done that the last 3-4 times this happened. Remember: “Fortuna audaces juvat”.