Wednesday, December 3, 2008

What are you doing for the Ice Age?

Minnesotans know a thing or two about extended periods of sub-zero.
The financial weather report that came in on Monday was a big duh to us. Every last easy dollar went south over a year ago. So we’ve spent quite some time steeling ourselves for the oncoming economic Ice Age.
The challenge, as always, is to see the opportunity in the problem. Here’s a thought:
Take your dinosaurs out for a nice walk in the fields, expose them to the bitter freezing wind, allow them to die a nice, natural death.
We know of one retailer that spends a fortune on direct mail sales catalogues, and has lost money on them for years. They do it because that’s what they’ve always done, and because of the many vendor business relationships that support the development of the materials. Well, that’s a dinosaur. Go play in the snow, Steggy.
Another friend has multiple agencies working on his business, each one alternately competing over the lead client relationship, then standing and watching major opportunities go untended, like a bad tennis doubles team letting the ball pass between them. “I thought you had it.” “Well I thought you had it.” That’s dinosaur behavior for sure. Let’s take it ice fishing.
Needing six months to develop an idea: dinosaur.
Seeing everything through the lens of TV: dinosaur.
Layers, fiefdoms, silos, blackboxes, theory vacuums: all one great La Brea Tar Pit’s-worth of dinosaur.
As Rahm Emanuel says, never let a crisis go to waste. An Ice Age is a crisis… if you’re a dinosaur. Or it can be a bracing slap in the face.

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