Stay

There is value in staying with what makes you uncomfortable.

You get stronger, you understand more, you settle. Staying is a learning experience. It is by staying that eventually you begin to manage situations that initially seemed insurmountable.

Of course, staying is also a huge stress.

So pick a few things that matter, and stay.

Does it matter?

In 2012, Google launched a brilliant campaign in view of SXSW.

Project Re:Brief wanted to give old school admen, creators of iconic ads (such as this, and this, and this), modern tools to see how their campaigns would look like on the web.

It is a wonderful idea, and the campaign got very good numbers. Google also made a documentary out of this project.

A few days after the launch, one of the people responsible for the campaign was presenting the social media results to the rest of the team. Their boss, perhaps a bit harshly, asked an important question (the full story can be heard here):

Does it matter?

The point is, Google can certainly spend time and resources tracking and reporting on things that do not have an impact on their mission, vision, numbers.

But can you?

Free trial

Does your audience want a free trial? Of course.

Do you have the resources to offer a free trial that delivers the right experience to the right audience, making them excited to continue on their journey to become champions of your own perspective?

Most companies would answer no.

And yet, they offer a free trial.

And that’s because a free trial, with the right form to capture the right information – credit card, of course – is very little about experience, about user journey, about changing minds and behaviors, while it is very much about boosting vanity metrics.

Your choice.

Not exciting anymore

Three reasons why the new tool, system, process, structure rolled out in your organization is no longer as exciting as it initially seemed.

  1. The people making the decision are the not the ones impacted by the decision. Very often, the people impacted by the decision are not even consulted in the decision-making phase. Assumptions and second guessing are key criteria.
  2. There was a tacit expectation that the tool, system, process would have been welcomed by everybody as a cure for all that is bad. In other words, nobody really gave change management a thought – and if number 1 is true, you are most likely already drifting into number 2.
  3. There is no agreement on accountability and how success is going to be measured. People will do everything to avoid saying: “we failed (and we will not fail again)”. Flawed solutions will be around for years, until a new change can be sold internally. Putting the process back at number 1.

More rounded

We think of most things as linear experiences.

That’s certainly true in business. The funnel is linear. The go-to-market process is linear. The sales pipeline is linear. The launch of a new product or service is linear. The very same metaphors we use to describe those things (funnel, pipeline, launch) are linear.

And yet, success requires that you circle back and iterate with the new information you have acquired. That you adjust the trajectory continuously with the help of what you are learning as you go.

It turns out that to be succesful in what matters we need to apply more rounded thinking.