- those who make things happen
- those who watch things happen
- those who wonder what happened
Being from Upstate New York, where we enjoy weather extremes, I am all too familiar with frozen rivers. Most activities, including B2B Marcom, are like a frozen river. Things get stuck in a certain way and they don't change - at least not too much or too easily. When things are frozen, there is really very little that can be done to effect change.
Our window to change occurs when the river thaws. During that period things are fluid. Rocks clunk along the bottom, trees float away, and water charges downstream, sometimes flooding over river banks and occasionally carving new paths. We have opportunities to try new and fun things - to boat, to fish, and to swim. Then, the river freezes and everything is locked in place until the next thaw.
In B2B Marcom, like most things in life, our rivers are predominantly frozen. Under these predominant conditions, change is typically quite challenging. When we do experience our "thaws", when change is very possible, we are usually also confronted with numerous other challenges. In other words, the opportunity to change is often wrapped in a complex and confusing situation - like a global recession.
Our recent economic crisis was one of these "complex and confusing situations". It was also a tremendous opportunity for change. Our river thawed for approximately three confusing years. Yes, times were challenging, terrifying for some. People were sometimes dealing with corporate survival; seeking opportunities to change may have been the last thing on their minds.
To those who did not avail themselves of the opportunity I ask, which camp were you in?:
- those who made things happen
- those who watched things happen
- those who wondered what happened
Know that business is all about cycles. There will always be a next period of thaw. There is an opportunity for YOU to make things happen - and the next one is approaching. I can't tell you when it will happen, how long it will last, or how much change it will accept - but it is coming.
The take away is to prepare now to use the next thaw to make great changes in your B2B Marcom program. Expect it to come, imagine what it might be like, and embrace it. Begin with your goal(s), list your resources (available and needed), assemble your team (it is rarely done alone), and get people in the proper mindset to attempt to change your Marketing Communications program amidst a "thaw".
If you have a great goal, vision, guts, strength, and team it is ALWAYS the time for change. More on that soon.