Friday, 11 July 2014

Agile constancy

Which team will win on Sunday? The two semi-finals couldn't have been more different - a glorious walkover and humiliating defeat, and a drawn-out stalemate finally decided on penalties. But in football, anything can happen - we will wait and see.

Success in any field - sport, business or personal life - depends on your definition of success, and how you approach reaching it. Jeff Bezos of amazon is quoted as saying:

"We are stubborn on vision, we are flexible on details."

As a small aside, you might comment that details such as dodgy tax practices, less than ideal conditions for employees and monopolistic bully behaviour may display too great a degree of flexibility. But as a general principle, he's right.

All too often, brands - or the people who manage them - are stubborn where they don't need to be: on details. They compile an exhaustive corporate identity rulebook. They set unrealistic goals on irrelevant parameters, just because these can be measured. They insist on documents being rewritten and rewritten again to reflect the brand tone of voice. And all the time, forgetting their vision.

In the end, you remember who won, but you don't necessarily remember in what formation they played.

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