Let’s say you’re a new business unit leader or CMO.
You want to get an unvarnished, 360-degree view of the situation and challenge at-hand. You have to get prepared to give your boss an action plan.
What do you do and how do you do it?
To demonstrate, let’s use a high-profile, global example that just happened. I’ll tell you who it is at the end of the post.
Here are some of the steps taken by the new leader:
* Invited a range of outside industry experts to a private dinner. They represented views both consistent with, and alternate to, the company’s strategic direction.
* The guests had to earn their meal by commenting on the most pressing problems facing the company. Specifically, they were asked: “Tell me something I don’t know;” and “Give me a new way of thinking about things.”
Credit: United States Coast Guard.
The motto for the United States Coast Guard is Always Ready (Semper Paratus).
It’s a good mindset for marketers, too.
The best are ready to adapt, change and adjust as needed, guided by a solid business strategy. Of course, sometimes you also have to be ready to change the strategy.
Top performers are ready and able to:
- View and process things from a different lens (e.g., competitors, markets, colleagues)
- Explore new ways to work better with their team
- Understand that maybe the other guy is right (at least sometimes)
- Embrace a new challenge or initiative
A now famous example of being ready led to the Oreo team’s real-time marketing success in the 2013 Super Bowl
Being ready usually means you’re in a position to be successful. Consider one of my favorite quotes: Luck is when preparation meets opportunity.
So I posed the following question to members of MENG, the Marketing Executives Networking Group:
What would you say is the number one most important thing for marketers to be ready about/ready for in 2015?