Banish black and white thinking from your organisation

Banish black and white thinking from your businessFrom a young age we are taught by everyone to hold strong views and encouraged to vehemently push our point onto others. But for your business here’s a simple question: Is it a good thing?

I commented on an article recently, about medical approaches to schizophrenia (the top comment published under ‘MDA75’).  The upshot was that solutions – in this case a step towards helping some sufferers – can come from unexpected places. (A cheap antibiotic intended for treating acne.)

My comments on the story were to the effect that we have to be careful to not overly express one strong opinion over another in areas where there is a lack of understanding and no clear right answer.

I feel that it is important for those with forceful personalities, big voices and focused debating skills to realise the skewing effect of a strong and well-made point.  This is even more important early on in the decision-making process (when strongly argumentative behaviour can be at its fiercest).

Just as in medicine – where leading thinkers now rarely advocate a one-size-fits-all approach, the trend instead being for personalised treatment – so too business leaders must break away from choosing one approach, one path, one blinkered strategy.

I often get asked questions such as: “which digital marketing activity will work best for my business?”

Clients understandably want ‘black and white’ answers on how to prioritise their energy.  My answers to such questions are invariably more ‘shades of grey’.

I urge consideration of all channels but to prioritise according to your target market and business.    Each channel has strengths in terms of target audience, modality (mind-set in an environment) and best mechanisms for communication (image sharing versus text for example).

More strategically, it is where multiple areas intersect that most opportunities can be found.

How did we help one high-end architectural client to become one of the biggest studios in London?

From listening to the heads of the business we quickly identified a strategy focusing on demographics, client personas and location-based data.  From this we created a hyper-local PPC search ad campaign which fed into physical hi-end events in those areas.  In essence we realigned the business to interact with customers in the same way they choose architectural services, on a local level.

It was certainly not a one-size-fits-all approach; it was about looking for synergies across different marketing and technology areas.  This is why it is so important to fully understand the business before attempting to develop the right strategy.

The opportunities lie in thinking openly, embracing the “and” ahead of the “or”, and forgetting some of those dominant behaviours that can diminish others’ valid points of view too early on – and so a higher likelihood of coming to the best solution for the business and not just the somewhat predictable possibility of going with the strongest made argument.

perrycoke

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