Give Success a chance. Commit to it.
I was talking to a renowned procurement colleague recently, and we agreed that it feels like it’s all become a bit short-term and transactional of late. Fragmented channels, availability of data of varying quality, quarterly results pressures…yes, even Brexit, which seems to be measured in days, when actually any such decision is about the decades ahead. (OK, I promise no more Brexit pontificating here.)
At the same time, there are increasing demands for sustainable solutions; big challenges around driving reappraisal; the need to reposition brands. So, whilst we all get caught up in the short-term pressures of how business operates, often the real opportunities require mid-to-long term thinking.
We believe commitment is often key to effectiveness. Recently, we had a client interested in creating a large, public brand experience event. It was gloriously ambitious and a job we would love to be part of; our enthusiasm for what we could do, the experience we could create, was running away with us all. But we had to look at why we were doing this, and the barriers to success. Together we discussed how to deliver on the very clear objectives, and how achieving these would take commitment to annual investment for 3 to 4 years. There were logistical reasons, capex reasons, and sustainability reasons. But most of all, the reality was it would take that time to build the reputation of the event through the early adopters and into the larger core audience. Sometimes, it just takes time. And time takes commitment. It was a great conversation to have.
Sometimes commitment means taking a broader perspective. We are often asked about sustainability, and how we can help clients. And we work hard to do so – recycled and recyclable materials, smart logistic planning, advising clients on the benefits of different venues (did you know that London's Excel has an on-site worm farm to deal with food waste?).
There’s more though. If we could look long-term, or across different projects, we could design to minimise duplication and waste. That’s obvious, right? We’ve done it on numerous occasions, with careful thought applied at the start to fixed and variable elements. Yet a reluctance to commit to future years; or an unclear strategy; or internal politics, stops this happening as often as it should. Some may want the flexibility of keeping projects as one-offs. Some may think they keep things more competitive with such an approach. But in a world where everyone is tight on margins, reframing the challenge to find advantages over time is a smart move. And one we all need.
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