When A Company Chases Its Tail…

by Jay Deragon on 09/30/2013

thinking-outside-the-box-solving-problemsHave you ever seen a company chase its tail? It goes round and round chasing circular logic but never advances forward. Sooner or later they end up getting dizzy and frustrated then they settle down for a while. But sooner or later they end up chasing their tail all over again with yet a different set of circular logic to justify the chase all over again.  Need an example?

In today’s global marketplace, buyers are empowered by modern technology and are in full control of the buyer-seller relationship. It’s the consumers who control the leverage, not the sellers — and with that new dynamic in place, much of the conventional business wisdom that has served CEOs nicely for the past several decades needs a complete overhaul.  But instead of recognizing this shift what CEO are allowing is their organizations to be led by circular logic.

The business  arguments and subsequent logic goes like this: Buyers want better experiences and meaningful engagements using modern technology. This means we need someone to lead our social media strategy,  more people engaging on social media channels and we need to increase our staffing in the customer service area. We need to bring in some consultants to re-examine our customer service strategies.

What Is Wrong With This Logic?

The above argument and subsequent logic is grounded in conventional business wisdom.  Conventional wisdom doesn’t work in unconventional markets. The behavior of today’s marketplace (buyers) connected and empowered with technology has clearly demonstrated that traditional business strategy needs to be relegated to the junk-heap of irrelevance.

Yet the circular argument used above is logically valid because the premises are true, the conclusion must be true. However, the argument is useless because the conclusion is one of the premises. Circular logic cannot prove a conclusion because, if the conclusion is doubted, the premise which leads to it will also be doubted. In other words if your logic doesn’t match the logic of the marketplace then you are simply chasing your tail.

Customers now have the voice and the authority to exact a painful price on companies they believe have missed the mark on understanding what:

  1. experience and engagement means to the buyer
  2. the voice of the customer means in human not institution terms
  3. unconventional wisdom means to the behavior of the markets
  4. intangible benefits create the results that stakeholders want
  5. needs to change from the top down before engaging from the bottom up

If you think applying conventional wisdom to solving problems created from an unconventional marketplace then you are likely going to look like a dog chasing their tail.  Watching a dog chase their tail is amusing. Watching companies chase their tail isn’t amusing. It simply means they don’t understand what really matters to their stakeholders.

If you don’t take the time to understand what really matters then you won’t matter.

{ 1 comment }

Robin Williams October 3, 2013 at 12:42 am

Amazing sharing! I think this will surely turn small inventions into big one and will bring money too. Hope the newbie’s implements these ideas into their newly started business.

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