Do you ever think about the difference between playing offense and defense in business and how it relates to the current pandemic landscape. Is it better to be prepared and always have a plan B in your back pocket?
Did you know if you have a plan B, then plan A is less likely to work? Sometimes, it hurts to be prepared. When you realize you have options, your motivation for succeeding drops. Failure is always an option, and there are two great ills of executive life:
- Omission Bias: our tendency to worry more about doing something rather than not doing something. Everybody will see the results of a move gone wrong, but they won’t see the consequences of a move not made.
- Loss Aversion: the tendency to play not to lose rather than playing to win. The inclination is to be super cautious.
Did you know, Netflix offered to sell themselves to Blockbuster at some point? In the book, That Will Never Work, Marc Randolph goes into great detail about that meeting with Blockbuster – they were laughing at him. For Blockbuster, it felt like a perilous endeavor. Despite fleeting numbers, the CEO of Blockbuster, Jim Keyes, remained optimistic. Jim thought the stores would remain open indefinitely into the future. In 2010, Blockbuster files for bankruptcy – it’s a lesson for what happens if you do not adapt to a continually changing world.
Another great example is the Domino’s comeback. In 1998, Domino’s was the fastest-growing pizza chain in the United States. After 38 years of ownership, the founder sold 93% of the company to Bain Capital. Eventually, they worked hard on cutting costs, which included ruining the integrity of their ingredients. Next, Domino’s starts innovating like crazy. They start doing all of these focus groups to try and figure out what people honestly think of their pizza. As an advertisement, Domino’s ran an ad of people bashing their pizza. It absolutely worked; people felt the authenticity because they coupled it with significant improvement to their product.
The way you deal with problems is by talking about it. Overall, it’s easy for us to make decisions based on the status quo; however, we need to have the strength to let go and take risks.
For more information on this topic, head over to The Marketing Rescue Podcast