When watching England play football at a major tournament in the past, they always seemed to have a default position that they returned to if panic set in.
Even with some very skilful players, when things weren’t going well I always felt frustrated to see them ‘hoof’ the ball up to the man up front instead of skillfully and strategically passing it forward.
Forgive me if you’re not into football, but I share this as it can be tempting for a business that has just ‘got clarity’ to return to their ‘default’ position, not having the confidence to push ahead with their newly discovered identity; their new logo, tone of voice or brand guidelines.
So why is this? Why is it that you spend time with your team developing the way forward, only to have a strong desire to revert to ‘they way you’ve always done it’?
Here are a few reasons why, and what you can do about it.
1. Change is difficult
There are some people who thrive on change –and I must confess to being one of them. Most people however, don’t. They like things the way they’ve always been. There’s a certain comfort in knowing what’s going to happen next and it can be frightening when you cannot control the next step.
But, if you really believe in your newfound clarity, change will have to happen to make it a reality. Otherwise it just stays as some ‘nice ideas’ that ‘may happen at some point’ and not a vision driving your business forward to success.
2. It feels safer to stick with what we know
Off the back of change being difficult, there’s that phrase which is often attributed to Henry Ford, founder of Ford motor company: “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”
Whoever said it was right on the money. It’s the reason why many of us stay in bad situations, as to face something new is to face the unknown. BUT…if you do that, you will never ‘risk’ tasting the potential success of your newfound clarity.
3. We’re not sure we got it right
It’s understandable that after you’ve discovered or confirmed your vision, values, brand personality and target audience, you may have niggling doubts as to whether any of them need to change slightly. This is OK. It’s natural.
I always recommend to clients –after our clarity workshops– to mull things over for a while. Speak to other colleagues, and customers if you can, to help get an even clearer picture. The clarity workshop is the start, not the end point.
Then, once you’re clearer, update your documents. Things change over time too, so keep revisiting it every six months or so.
4. What if they don’t like it?
This links with points 1 and 2. You cannot directly control how people respond. What you want to do is to find out as much about them –your customers– as possible and produce something which, whilst being authentic to yourself, connects with them in an engaging way.
Sometimes your market might need to be lead by you in the right direction. To mention Henry Ford again, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” They could not comprehend what a motorised vehicle was before it was invented. He had to lead them. He couldn’t control how they would respond.
Have confidence in your clarity
If you’re in that position of having clarity about the direction you want to take your business, I would encourage you to stay strong. Don’t revert to your default position and hoof the ball up front. Don’t waste what you have learned, but take a risk to find the greater levels of success you desire. And if you need any help from me along the way, just get in touch.
If you’re not in that position yet, but feel it’s time to get clarity, our Clarity workshops can help achieve this. To see which would be the most appropriate for you, book a Clarity Assessment to begin the process.