Strategy Sessions Podcast with JP Castlin

Episode 4 Season 2

JP Castlin is a former consultancy executive turned independent strategy and complexity management consultant. He is the author of Strategy in Polemy, a columnist for Marketing Week, a global keynote speaker and the creator of the ABCDE strategic framework. 

Listen / Watch / Download

In this episode we discuss: 

  1. How to define strategy 
  1. The ambiguous language of marketing and strategy  
  1. Frameworks and structure for strategy 
  1. Strategy and execution and how they work together 
  1. Being humble as a strategist  
  1. Complexity theory and how to use it in strategy  
  1. JP’s book and writing on strategy and why you should be reading it 
  1. How to be a better consultant by asking more questions 
  1. Hat tip to Tom Critchlow 
  1. Using theory to inform your practice  
  1. Examples of when things went wrong in JP’s career 
  1. When customer research is useful and when it’s pointless 
  1. Retention v reacquisition and why it’s often a false divide  
  1. Talking the language of finance and the people you want to influence  
  1. Andi’s wild predictions about companies that might not exist soon 

Book Recommendations  

JP’s Marketing Week musings https://www.marketingweek.com/author/jp-castlin/  

Tom Critchlow’s consulting blog https://tomcritchlow.com/  

Strategy in Praxis newsletter by JP Castlin 

Invisible Gorilla by Christopher Chabris  

How Brands Grow – Byron Sharp https://amzn.to/3bu2jX8 

Strategy Synthesis – Bob De Wit and Ron Meyer 

The Origin Of Wealth: Evolution, Complexity, and the Radical Remaking of Economics – Eric Beinhocker  

The Halo Effect – How Managers Let Themselves be Deceived by Phil Rosenzweig 

Other Links 

Nick Baughan from Facebook (now Meta) on the podcast https://eximomarketingstrategy.com/strategy-sessions-episode-19-facebook-inc/  

Luke Carthy on the Black Friday episode https://eximomarketingstrategy.com/black-friday/  

Mike Follett from Lumen Research on the podcast https://eximomarketingstrategy.com/podcast-eye-catching-marketing-mike-follett/  

Digital Marketing Strategy Course 

My Digital Marketing Strategy Course in partnership with the University of Vaasa in Finland is available now via Teachable for just €249.  

It’s perfect for small business owners, entrepreneurs and those who want to get a better understanding of what marketing strategy is and how to embed that strategy across an organisation.  

Sign up for the programme here: https://univaasa.teachable.com/p/digital-marketing-strategy  

JP Castlin 

The best place to find JP is: 

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/JPCastlin  

LinkedInhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/jpcastlin/  

Strategy in Praxis newsletter: https://strategyinpraxis.substack.com/  

Andi Jarvis 

If you have any questions or want to talk about anything that was discussed in the show, the best place to get me is on Twitter or LinkedIn

If you don’t get the podcast emailed to you (and a monthly newsletter) you can sign up for it on the Eximo Marketing website. 

Make sure you subscribe to get the podcast every fortnight and if you enjoyed the show, please give it a 5* rating. 

Andi Jarvis, Eximo Marketing. 

YouTube Tags (only for use on YouTube) 

Andi Jarvis, Eximo Marketing, Digital marketing, marketing, business podcast, marketing podcast, marketing strategy, marketing strategies, marketing tips, strategy, strategy sessions, the strategy sessions, toptip, toptips,  

Interview Transcription 

This transcript has been done automagically using Happy Scribe and hasn’t been checked by a real person, so there may be some hilarious mistakes where the AI can’t work out our accents – I’m sure they’re trained on just the American accent. 

JP. Thank you for joining me on the strategy session. How are you today? 

Oh, my gosh, I’m great. How are you? 

On top of the world like you’ve been recording a couple of podcasts for this season with some of my favourite strategist who I have met. I say that loosely via social media and you are one of the people who when I see your tweets pop up, I’m like, oh, great. I’m gonna have a read of this. See JP writing in Marketing Week. I’m thinking I’m gonna have a read of this as well. 

So it’s an absolute honour to have you on the show. Thank you for your time. 

Oh, it’s my absolute pleasure honoured to be on the show as well as great grateful. 

Look, let’s start with an easy question, dead simple, let’s get started. How do you define strategy to your clients and in your business? 

To my clients? I tend to define strategy is kind of a guiding principle, or to speak intent. That kind of evolve over time, but it’s sort of it allows us a bit to predict in what way is going to evolve. And that’s a bit of a shift definition, but probably speak of the problem that I have with a strategy in most definitions of strategies that it tends to end up being just a plan, right? It’s not entirely to if you look at sort of how people tend to define strategy. 

If you’re looking at it more broadly, not just marketing, but more broadly, it tends to be one or four things. So it’s either sort of a plan, right? Sort of how a means of getting from here to there. It can be a pattern and actions taken number time. So you’ll find something like mens bury or sort of the agile people over here. Typically it can be a decision that reflects decisions to offer a certain product. Certain segment is on it the border camp, and then it can be perspective, which is kind of like a vision and direction, which is probably where you’ll find something like me. 

But what is interesting about these definitions is that if you look at them sort of collectively gets close to individually, they are almost mutually exclusive. So plan is or the outcome of direct control and deliberateness. And we can do this is that before the event, whereas the pattern and actions taken over time is sort of the results of indirect control and emergency, you can only observe after the fact a position is where you are, whereas a direction is indicative of where you want to be and therefore artificiel e ITSO you have all these various definitions of strategy. 

And so what it ends up being to my original point is therefore a kind of this original idea of concept, the business of what we are about how we’re going to wait. O, whatever you want to call it, that kind of evolves over time, depending on the context and so it’s more of a when I work with clients, it it becomes more of a framework. I suppose that guide sort of the subsequent actions as opposed to the traditional we’re going to do. This is the strategic sort of planning. 

And what more I call programming is that make sense? 

No. So lots of stuff to unpick there, and the different definitions are really important. And I know when I start most engagement with clients. One of the things I do is spend some time defining terminology, not a huge market time yetyou go into the room. You’ve maybe worked in my situation, maybe with the CEO or the sort of marketing direct to somebody like that, but brought me in and we’ve talked in the run up to this and they know exactly what I’m going to do. Then the CFO might come in the room or some of the other people come in the room. 

And what they think marketing strategy is going to be can often be quite different to what were going to do. So I spent some time defining that to me. And the strategy tactics and plan, a kind of the three things I try and define for the money strategies, where we’re going tactics is how we’re going to get there and then the marketing plan, which will be a deliverable. Maybe at the end of this is the strategy, the tactics, a calendar and a budget, all those things together. 

And you’ve got a marketing plan, I think from your description of where you are, that puts me probably in a little bit more of the deliberate camp he suggests, as opposed to you more in the vision. I think you said yes. 

I mean, you can say that. First of all, I think you’re absolutely correct. And trying to define the language internally because I wrote about this for Mark and a couple of weeks ago. But it’s one thing that Mark is often missed is exactly to your points that we kind of presume that everyone needs the same thing. And what really matters is that we all mean the same thing, at least internally within that team or Department or company, regardless of what the sort of supposed to thought leaders actually say it’s something is right what actually matters of what we mean and that, of course, we can hold agencies accountable to that definition, which is really, really helpful. 

But no. But I mean, where I tend to end up in my strategy work, and it should probably clarified as well is that I don’t do a lot of marketing strategy these days. I do global marketing, Strate different lines, but I don’t do a lot of the traditional sort of one year plan, and it’s not. I do more business, strategic stuff. And the way that I describe, I suppose, is to have a centralised intent and then decentralised execution. So in a marketing plan tradition, you do is accept to your point is that you’ll sort strategy the tactics in this I’m going to and then usually you try a budget on top of it. 

So you work on as a animal basis, whereas I would go, OK. So this is, broadly speaking, what we’re trying to achieve. Then I’m going to allow you to sort of get to that point, however you like, provided that it is or cover into the over election of the organisation. Now I’m going to hold you accountable to it. There are various ways of doing that, of course, but it’s kind of like I suppose I was going to say free sort formal control is not true, but I’m going to sort of allow people and trust people, I suppose, to do what they’re asked to do. 

Granted, there is a problem in this occasionally in Practise because it sort of it presumes that people know what they’re doing. It’s not necessarily true that all the time that they do. However, you could definitely say that the same would be true for management, because one of the problems with the traditional way of doing strategy is that it becomes almost paternalistic in the sense that management knows best. We’re going to tell you what to do and then you can do it sellhigh water. And the problem is that a lot of the time is that although and please can see fails to see the forest for the trees, a management and leadership often fail. 

See the trees for the forest. Does that make sense? So again, you need to sort of combine that and tighten the whole thing, which I’m currently calling naturalised strategy making that’s a different. 

I like. I’ve recently done a presentation at Brighton essentially optimization conference, where there’s a lot of talk people doing talks about search strategies and things like that. I didn’t actually go in person. I got covered, but the still heartbroken by Hart broken, but this still pushed me out on the digital version, which was fine. And in this waterfall approach to strategy and and almost not saying this is what search marketers are any tactical marketers get wrong. And then you’ve got to of appreciation of what the business strategies, which is often 3579 or ten years in horizon. 

I don’t know why it never two for six. All right. But maybe you can shed some light on that. And then the marketing start spins out of that in year long increments. And then you have your search or your content or social or whatever strategies. But they all have to cascade on waterfall one to another. And people sort of look at me, send me messages afterwards and a bit like never really realised that. Well, how can you come up with a content strategy if you don’t know what for all business is trying to achieve in where you’re trying to go. 

It just seems really obvious to me. 

But maybe you’re absolutely right. And so how we’ve described in the past myself and a former colleague called Gear for the strategic hierarchy, which is kind of like a scaffolding, I suppose in the since that it creates the structure upon which you can sort of him all your strategies. Exactly. To your point, what tends to happen is you have the business or corporate strategy on top, then you move down layer from layer to later to later to the then all the way down to, I would say, preps campaign strategy or SEO strategy where it might be. 

And so your job, whenever you’re sitting or other, wherever you’re seeing on this hierarchies to kind of know the strategy above you and be able to strategy below you because that kind of creates a hate used term. Alignment is a not a kind of alignment, but coherence, let’s say in the organisation. And exactly to your point, I mean, the fact is that what you’re doing on a ground level is trying to sort of move towards that greater ambition of the organisation. Now, the problem I have with the time Verizon is that the problem is that all companies act on this sort of time continuum between inception and demise. 

So when we say three of five years, we kind of assume that that’s a magical five future state, all our problems have been solved. That never happens. The company goes on unless you’re talking about bankruptcy or selling the company or whatever. And that’s one of my sort of petual points about how I do strategies do not think in terms of we’re going to do this. Is that this because that never happens in Practise. And there are a couple of reasons why one of them has to do with the fact that you literally cannot predict what’s going to happen. 

It’s not we don’t have enough data within the complex is that the system you literally cannot do it. I can actually explain why. But the other thing is that if you work a day of Practise is in Practise a strategy. What happens? We collect the data, we do the diagnostics, right. We try to learn as much as we can about the system and the markets and the company data. And then, of course, during this planning process to kind of assume that time service stops because, of course, never doing the planning process. 

But anyway, so we do that. And then we go esenvisit what happens day to every time. What happens is basically day to well, something we haven’t thought of, right. An executive leaves or better does something and just that and the other. And so either we sort of go, oh, fuck. It will just gonna go the strategy anyway or we go, oh, shit. We need to do something. So we have to do this entire thing over and and over again. That’s great. If you’re a consultant like me, by the way, is you can sort of pitch back into different back into your mind. 

Cool. But, you know, it’s not necessarily in the end of stuff the company and being able to adapt sort of on the fly is quite useful. The problem is that it often did you see Coca Cola’s recent sort of agency audits? It’s been in the press lately. 

The little haven. 

So Coco are doing this big agency audit. Right. So they’ve spent nine months, but hundreds and hundreds of meeting like bragging about how slow this process has been to come up with this idea of we need an agency that can do agile and move fast and just got to spend nine months to come up with this idea. We need to move quickly and go. And that’s the thing like you need to be the problem planning is that it’s kind of some everything stops something. Oh, we need to move fast on and what you really need to do in strategies, you need to create the ability to move fast when you have to that kind of thing, you don’t need to move fast all the time. 

You can’t be slow all the time certainly have to adapt. That becomes not essence strategy, but it becomes important part of state and the problem when we have these three, five, seven, whatever is that we kind of build in the ersion the system. Yes. You need a sentiti condition. You need some sort of shared understanding of success. But going in seven years, we’re going to be here has a tendency of creating a floor as much as a ceiling. Again, I think one of the key traits of a good strategy is kind of being humble and open to changing things and learning on the fly. 

Anyway. 

Yeah. I look at Continu talked about a continuing before between and of intuitive strategy, which was trying to put a nice word around making it out. You go along and the very deliberate strategy that was you might read about kind of General Motors in the thirties or whatever that type of five year plan. And we will move back to why and all that sort of stuff somewhere in the middle of that continueher to its emergent strategy, where I tend to if you were to draw that continue, I tend to be two thirds of the way along towards deliberate where your plan as much as you can accept that Stuff’s going to change. 

Right. And nobody sees that coming. So you have to be nimble enough to stay in your food and move it. It is a different frame of mind, isn’t it? Because I think a lot of executives in MBA students and people you deal with it just used to this we have a one to the 990 or whatever it is. And that’s the window that we operate in. And then I’ll move jobs and go somewhere else. And this thing I’ll keep got into it. 

Yes. You’re absolutely right. So when I wrote Strategy in Problem, which is my latest, I suppose BOI talked about this. This balance of obligation optionality between deliberate and emergence. Exactly the point. Deliberate being the traditional strategic planning. We’re going to do this. That and the other words EmergenSea Ning on the fly. And I suppose could call it a Giltedge. And you’re absolutely right. I mean, strategy and Practise has to be this balance between the two. If you’re working in an industry that’s highly mature has high various entry, it hasn’t changed in the last hundred and 50 to hundred years ball bearings or gravel or something, then the odds of something happening overnight. 

There quite love, right. Quite poor. And the reason why, of course, is that because you’re looking at again a very mature market, but also your products are public engrained in your customer systems is therefore you can change every night because their lack effects and so on. You can do a lot of useplanning that there’s no point going all in an agile. That’ll be stupid. But if you’re working in a category such as a fintech, where things almost literally changed on week on a week by week basis, trying to define where you’re going to be in a year or two years or five years, youmoist stupid because you have no idea, no way of knowing. 

So you get to that balance of again, optional navigation One of my peeves with strategy and strategy discourse, and the way the strategies taught is that it becomes very binary. It’s just like we’re going to do only agile. We’re going to do only this only to the other in Practise is never one of the two. It’s all a mix. And how you mix that depends on context is one of those things about complexity is that in complex, nothing is context general. Everything is context specific and context keeps changing. 

And so we need to be able to sort of adapt. But of course, as well create that stability along the way. So I completely agree with you. That’s the way to approach it into. 

So you mentioned the book that the book that you’ve written, and there’s a couple isn’t that you’ve put together. 

Yeah. So about your book? Yeah. So if we can trace it back to the company, I was CEO for some years consults called Rouser. Me and Gary created this thing called Rouser Manifesto, which is like it was more an exercise in writing for ourselves. Just challenge ourselves and that we published it. And over the years it became quite popular because we didn’t want every year. And then that became now that I’m an independent consultant. This thing called Strategy Polome, which started out as the Castle Manifesto. So that’s the one thing. 

And then at the moment, I’m writing this new book, which we haven’t really decided on a name yet. But it’s basically going to introduce my new way, my new framework of doing strategy, and it comes out of I mentioned this thing. It’s an expression that I just thought of the other day. But I kind of like it is this thing called naturalised by making. And what I mean by that is basically it takes strategy, but then it also sort of built in natural Sciences. So things like complexity theory, complexity science, psychology and then whatever it might be. 

But basically it takes a scientific look at strategy and not necessarily as Theo ready sort of scientific. But actually what works in Practise. And the problem expected to previous point about the MBA programmes is that we have this quite outdated view of a strategy. Is this idea of sort the organisation is being almost mechanistic and all the employees or Cogeca remove this. You can put that thing there and so on and you can actually trace it. You can trace it all the way back to while I managed to late 17 hundreds and I can tell you entice or instead. 

But basically the point is that the way we do strategy at the moment is based on national economics and macro economics from the 17 hundreds and also a bit of physics one in for good measure. And it’s just it’s not how a sort of modern market modern company works. So my attempt to sort of following this, but maybe helping people is just kind of take what we know the updates in the findings in science on and then bring it into strategy to create this sort of more pragmatic way you’re working. 

So that’s the new which should come out hopefully, maybe next. 

Excellent. Brilliant. As somebody who’s been trying to write a book on strategy for the last four years, and I’m still no more than about 50 or 60%. I am absolutely in awe of people who start writing books and finish them as well. 

A part I think the big one. I started it and then because that’s the thing as well. Like we have my wife and I have our first child coming in November. So having the deadline of the book and having a child coming is going to be an interesting one. But then I got a nice piece of framing from. 

You know, Rob Campbell and not post like, but no, yeah, but yeah. 

I had a Zoom call with him a couple of months ago and I were talking about this and he said, well, he had a friend, apparently, who she had been trying to get pregnant for ten years through IVF. 

Right. 

And I’ll test to babies in sort of more common language, I suppose. But anyway. And so for ten years, she’d been trying to get pregnant and imagine the sort of mental and fiscal and financial toll that this must have taken. She eventually got pregnant with the triplets three kids. And just after she’d have the triplets, she got pregnant for the first time in her life, naturally, and got another pair of twins. So they have five kids under the year other two years old. Right. And not just he just like so one child is problem not gonna be that that fact. 

It’s actually that’s a pair of it’s an interesting point. 

And God bless anyone with five children under the age of ten, five children. Generally. I’m one of four boys. I remember when I moved out to University when I was 18 and the youngest as well. It took me about three or four months to work out what was wrong, what I thought was wrong with me. And it was the fact that I lived in a house and moved into a University house in the as three of us Alder in different courses. So I was often in the house on my own, and it took me about three months to realise I had never really been in the house on my own. 

I guess you had four boys and my mom for five of us living in a three bedroom house for my entire life. So the house was never empty and there was always friends around and people right here just this noisy chaos. 

So anyone that that brings up a really interesting point. So two things Firstly, could you can and treat me you were alone? 

No, still at it took me probably ten years to be able to work. 

Exactly right. So that’s the thing from my experience as well. I only have one brother, but from friends have sort of been raised in families, but more children that they have real problems trying to concentrate when they’re silence and when they’re not, for example, when they tick tests in school. But what it also brings up the really interesting point about the office and working from home, because if you’re one of those people, you can’t concentrate if your loan but your company shut down the office because it’s more efficient to people work from home, then all of a sudden you might actually have problems producing the work. 

It’s a really interesting thing. 

I find it easy and now, obviously, consulting spending. I look forward to the times when I’m in the room and it’s quiet and I’m on my own and I don’t often have the radio on when I’m working anymore. You used to have an eating that background noise. Now I’m happy with a quiet and when I drop in and I go on working clients offices and I’m there for days or weeks, there is a little bit of an adjustment that takes to get used to it, but I’m pretty quick at getting into that now, but that’s taken years of work being able to concentrate and doing stuff when there’s someone talking here, somebody eating there somebody tapping on the keyboard next to you. 

I know that only too well, and that’s been a thing for me when I work with clients that, for example, a sort of open office landscapes, because what usually happens is they’ll have the open sort of offices and then they’ll have five, six, seven. However, many, like quite office rooms are quite call room or whatever they want to call it. So because, well, there are two things I do like silence when I’m working, either that or music, but not sort of everyone bothering all the time. The other thing, of course, is that if you’re doing especially the business Citi stuff, there are cases or sort of times when maybe you don’t want everyone else to know what you’re working on, what you’re working and of course, and will probably affect what they’re doing. 

So you want to be left alone anyway. So the trick there, by the way, is to get in before everyone else the client office, and then you sort of just sit down. Is that whatever the space, the closed shop on it, and then you just spend the rest of the day the right. You’ll become the asshole of the company quite quickly. I discovered, however, it is quite good for getting worse one, if you’re consulting, you can take it anyway. 

Yeah, exactly. You’re not there to be popular, only there of a limited period of time. The other thing, I find it if you’re watching the video, you’ll see what I’m holding up. If you’re not, I’ve got the biggest pair of over a noise cancelling headphones I could find because it’s a great sign that just says, Leave me hell alone. 

The big yes, I know that all too well is another trick that I used. I mean, I also have the noise counselling headphones the most one butthese headsets. You have it in tears, but you don’t have to have anything on. But it does. So first people to leave you alone to we’re not really anti social people. 

But there are times. 

Yeah, but, I mean, it’s an interesting one for strategist, because strategy for me is sort of a team effort, right? Especially if you’re a consultant, because one of the problems I have with consultants is that they often take on this sort of, you know, Knight in shining Armour kind of role where you go in and you’re supposed to have all the answers, you’re gonna do things my way and so on. Actually, most of this time I think it was Tom Critchlow put it like this. He said, really, if your consultant, you should play the Joker role, basically being sort of asking the stupid questions and sort of risking making a fool yourself when other people will not sort of take that risk, because the old usually get you to actually the sort of core problem and that kind of thing. 

But again, one of the problems if you just sit there on your own and so headphones on and just do the thing is that if it’s not balanced by continuous meetings and sort of updating people and so on, then it becomes, I suppose, both insulate and isolated from the reality of business sometimes, which can be probolem ATIC, I think. 

But yeah, I’m just making a note to put a link to Tom Crick slows consultancy blog in a very good. 

Especially if you’re free later. 

Easiernow. Tom’s brother will he run distilled is now Brain Labs and Spook at search of their conference and relatively well. Anyway, Tom’s blog is great and I think just to wrap up what you were saying there about coming in with answers, another thing as well as defining terminology, which is one of the things I try to do early on during the sales period. If you want to, I make it as clear as I can that you’re probably employing me to bring questions, not answers because all people want you to come in is the consultant with all the answers and the magic wand. 

But I lost my magic a number of years ago, so I don’t have it to bring to engagements anymore. So it’s like I come with questions because a lot of the answers you need probably in there anyway, 90% of in the organisation, just a process to get that information out of people and then we’ve got to make some decisions. 

Yeah. No, that’s a very important point because I’ve spoken to the ages, especially about this. So brought up through sort of basic to higher education and beyond. We’re basically told that this correct answer right, every test there is a correct answer, and if you don’t know it is your fault. So collected more data and so on, studying more. Now this creates a problem in complexity because in complexity there are no right answers because it’s no linear causality. A doesn’t lead to be, and that’s a bit of an issue to working strategy because markets in firminomane are complexity of the system. 

So you need to be able to manage that. What often happens is that clients kind of expect you to know all the answers is execute point. If you are a junior consultant, you maybe you think you have all the answers because you’ve read all the books that’s also in common and what eventually happens inevitably happens. I should say, is that you do the thing and then it turns out that you were wrong, right? Something happened to that foreseen or you didn’t have all the answers. And Hello, impostor syndrome. 

But what is really important to understand is if you’re dealing with complexity and complexity is not a high step. Complicatedness is a tired of different thing entanglement then A does not lead to be and act as your point. The role of a consultant then is to ask those questions, being able to not go well. I know what the answer is. You never do because you won’t know the business as well as your client anyway. But actually what your job is most is just go in and ask questions and sort of nudge people towards at least sort of providing you the answer. 

And then diversely becomes a really important thing. And so on. And diversity thought and back from the body body block that’s dieting but no, I completely read. And I think, however, that that is your conclusion is a senior conclusion, and it’s not something that junior is necessarily now. Rather, they go in going, Well, I’ve read how parents go. Hence it’s all like this. It’s all like that and you go, well, not necessarily. 

I think you get that through the hard one. Mistakes, don’t you? Sometimes. But you’ve got to make. 

And that’s the thing as well. I just trying to learn from your mistakes is a big one because we’re all going, God, no, I made mistakes too. But you learn and you go and yeah, as long as long as you have that sort of to use a cliche service for knowledge. But you’re just trying to improve that’s the thing as well is that when you talk about strategy or transformation or whatever, when you work with clients or companies, are you’re not looking to change things, you’re looking to improve things. 

That’s a big difference. And if you’re just making small improvements every day, eventually you’re going to get really, really good at stuff. And it’s the same for yourself. I mean, again, you’re just trying to improve every day and that involves challenging not only what people tell you, but also challenging yourself and just keep on selling it yourself. And I have a new state race called Strategy and Practises, and that’s largely about that. I’m just like trying to challenge myself and sort of in to doctrine in at the same time. 

And that’s the only way to actually get somewhere valuable. I think overall, the problem. One problem I have with strategy course in marketing discourse at the moment is that we’re quite good at sort of latching on to ideas with that question them. And a lot of people don’t realise that it’s a sort of dangerous to dismiss an idea out of ignorance as it is to sort of believe the same is just because you happen to like it. 

That’s a really, really interesting point. And I think you’ve got to question everything, haven’t you? That even when it comes from somebody you know, you trust, you like and you think, OK, well, how does this fit? And and it’s probably something I’ve been wrestling with a little bit recently. I did Mark written many of the many and there was a couple of bits in that great cost, really enjoyed it. And I would recommend it to people if it’s of interest to them. There was a few bits in there, though, where the process and the structure he described didn’t a lot. 

A lot of it matched with the process and the structure I use, but there are bits of it that actually completely contradicted it, and he sort of sent me back into that. Right. Okay. I need to get all this out. I’ve been using a similar process and improving it and tweaking it, but is in process for five, six, seven years now and don’t need to rip this whole section of it out and start again. And I’m going through that of the minute. I’ve going to question my son and say, I know better than him, or is that what I’m saying he had at the moment? 

I’ve got a better time put decide in two or three weeks to sit down and just go right. What am I going to do with this? To have those questions. 

But that’s a really good sort of way reproaching things. I like work. I disagree with a lot of points, but a strategist and sort of thinker overall. But to take one example is if we’re talking about industry truths and dogma and challenging things, what about the net fieldfor now I’ve written a lengthy critique of their work. It’s not because I don’t dismiss it. A lot of people take criticism for dismissal, which is not the case. I really like both of them. But for example, this idea as they talk about effectiveness and context, that if your company happens to be defined or you define the company as of being a part of a specific vertical, that means automatically that your ideal site 62 38 example as it is. 

And I think a no tech companies, online companies and whatever the use. And then you get into that problem that I mentioned before of sort of these context free rules in a context specific world. So you can start with that stuff you can start with. I really like the argument as stuff one because it’s based on evidence of me being a former lawyer. I kind of like that. But also in every gig that I’ve done, I’ve sort of been able to replicate those findings. I’ve seen the same patterns. 

I’ve sort of seen the same rules where I can said sits just completely sort of repeal and beatable. However, it’s still always the starting point. It’s this thing of I make it my new side of which calls strategy in practise. So it’s not practise. It’s racist, which is theory informed practise, which basically is you start with Theoretic point. You try it out, you learn and you adapt. And the thing is that that and the other. And at the end of the day, you can do one of two things. 

You can adapt your theory to sort of suit you find in Practise, you can try to change Practise as if your theory now one of them will probably work at the eleven will probably not work and let you figure out which one it is. But that’s true for regards of what process used, whether it’s art or lesson, Peter or Sharp or whoever. It’s just like it provides the starting point. And then you try to apply to your business and what worked for you and this that and the other. 

As much as I really like the Ebi stuff and the patterns that I’ve seen all the time, I’m not saying that one day I’ll see something that’s completely contradicted. Who knows, there will also be exceptions to rules. But the rule is a good starting point. 

Yeah. Good start. O important. And I think the links in the show notes to your newsletter to the no Best Institute and some of them. So if you haven’t looked at the research, that the chair now, please do it’s useful. And I say a good starting point. But you’ve kind of touched on a couple of time projects and gigs that you’ve worked, can you? Except bringing one of them to life or one that was maybe particularly successful. Or even I love talking about ones that were absolute catastrophic failures and then the learnings from them as well as high like what you got wrong. 

But right. I’ll give you one good one bad then or one success in one family called that. The success was when I first really took my new framework into Practise, and I started trying to build this. And I did a global strategy for a big friend and a global market strategist. And we started applying it directly. And that the other, of course, even if you do the strategy or if you’re part of doing the strategy because always a team effort again, it’s never it’s never down to you that the company did that the other. 

But you’re part of it. And we created quite literally billions of dollars in stock value in the year. It was really successful. So that was kind of cool. The other thing, the failure. This is going back almost to the start when I like when we launched the consultancy almost a decade ago. So we did a big rebrand thing for no, that’s not true. We did a rebrand, and the project was big for the company. But the company was like a medium size company anyway. And so in the rebrand because it wasn’t sort of a question of all the bits being there and just sort of defining the stick on bras. 

And so they had done nothing. So we just needed to build something from scratch, as the rebrand was more of a create band in the first place. Something. Anyway, so in this decided or someone decided to actually, we probably need a logo or something because that didn’t have one, really. And then one of the designers working for the company said, Well, why don’t we make it a sort of company, my competition so everyone can be a part of it. I naively. I went, yeah, sure. Yeah. 

That sounds like a good idea, democracy and so on. Right. Right. So we have the thing. And of course, what happens is that almost the entire company put in their they create logos. So those good, the engagement was really, really good. The problem, of course, is that you can’t please everyone. Right. So what happened was at the end of the day, you had basically three people who were sort of selected to have the core of the best logos. And then the rest of the company were just pissed off because their logos weren’t selected. 

Right then. Of course, what happened next was we took those three logos to the board and the cause they have to serve you go, one of them. And then the head of sale and actually one of the want to be part of this as well. I haven’t thrown my name into that. And we took. And so we basically told the CEO, we don’t think this is a good idea, but his part went basically, okay, fine. So he, of course, threw in his free his logo overnight, and it was shit because he was not a sign erlooked, like something a five year old will doing pain. 

Right. Because, of course, he was influential on the board, everyone who so yeah, well, problem with that. So the end result was you had a bunch of employees that thought they were part of it being run over by the C suite and the board. And the end result was complete crap. And that was one of those things were just like, yeah, in the future, maybe I’m going to pay this differently. 

Let’s pay an agency next time. 

Yes. I mean, that was kind of thing. But it was interesting working for this company because I learned a lot about agencies as well because this was an ad tech company. And so they did a lot of programmatic stuff because this again, this is like one of the first things we did. So I had to study programmatic programmatic supply chain for six months before really doing any work with them. Which is interesting. We start looking at the investment losses, and I analysed 250,000 ads, and the average investment loss in total was something like 96% to 98%, even premium sites, which is insane. 

But that’s a different story. But anyway, so what happened was that they would create these kinds of ad formats kind of thing could have this kind of that kind of bad, or I can be still in mystery, can be contracted. This ERAWHAT happens in Practise, then. Well, what happens to Practise is that the brand or the Advertiser, the adviser or the media agenda calls up. This company goes, hey, we’d like an ad. And the company goes, yes, we have 5011 kind of distant ad for us. 

The client thing goes, so which one is best and then the attack coming as well. They’re all good. But we can create some mock ups. And the client goes, oh, yes, that sounds good. Creates a market for us. The ad tech company, which has no experience of design or anything like that. I got business developers use Photoshop. They put together like three or four different mockups, which is like taking the client logo and putting it on top of a stock photo. Right. Presented to the client to the media agency. 

You then go run with this is to create vacancy had actually do the jobs that will increase Roy overall. And then people start complaining about how shit digital advertising is and just go, well. Yeah, it kind of is, you know, I mean, things have changed a bit since then, because again, I Estatico. But it’s interesting when you see these things first hand moving into the industry. 

I always think people have this outside vision of the marketing world. And obviously, I think influenced the lot by a mad man, but also his these genius market is producing these campaigns that will change how people think and do this. And then I keep stumbling across stories like this where this is absolutely the reality of marketing. It’s a lot of people making the hopes to go along and trying to buy it for the cheapest price possible. What the marketing industry exactly. 

That’s a very good way of tying it back to what I call naturalised strategy making. So if you look at advertising, especially when it comes to things like differentiation and purpose and those kind of things it kind of consumes that customers or consumers are thinking actually about whatever you put in front of them now. And I’m going to feel a sort of an analogy from Dave Snowden here. But there are reasons why we actually we only taking three to 5% of what’s in front of us is if you read the book, for example, the invisible gorilla. 

They ran a test with radiologists, so they show them as a bunch of X rays. And in one of them, they have a picture of a gorilla which is like 40 times to size with cancer nodule in 83% of a radiologist did not see it, even though their eyes were physically scouting it. And what makes matters worse is that one they soothe 17% that did see it when they told the 83% after they were sort of committed, that actually they were in the wrong. Now there are reasons for this. 

So if you go back to this again, I’m something is stolen from it. Not if you go back to, you know, the sort of the down a civilization in humanity. Right. And you look at sort of the early human is on to the belt of Africa, right. If you saw something big Orange with teeth running at you, right. What you probably didn’t want to do it would be to sort of look up sort of a best Practise case study database of, you know, the Flarethe African Belt look up lion, and then sort of trying to do is okay, what the scenario based on previous experiences because then probably the only book sort of value to you would be the Book of Jonah, which is as far as I know. 

And Dave knows, is the only book that is about escaping the inside of a big Carnival written by Survivor. So there is an evolutionary point to why we just scan three to 5% and then don’t see threat. And that’s ultimately what advertising in trans are. Right. Like mental shortcuts. That’s why is so important with this thing, Evans, because again, people will only take away certain things in certain parts. And even if they’re physically scouting something, they won’t take all of it in. And so this idea of, well, if we just talk about it and nice enough firms or whatever, we’ll be able to soften Ines everyone to pursue everyone. 

And that’s just not how advertising works in Practise based on signs. 

So Mike Falls been on the podcast before I get I’m just making another not there. And his business using eye tracking software to look at effectiveness of ads. Lumen research some of the stuff Mike talks about in terms of customers aren’t looking for you, and nobody can, right? No, no. With you, the stand is better. 

Yeah. And that’s the thing. So customers aren’t looking for ads. And again, even if they are physically looking at it doesn’t mean that they take in the information. And that’s interesting enough, that’s actually what autistic people do is they take in more information than sort of non autistic people. And that’s why they end up in this sort of information. Century over la is too much information to take in. So no, a person will not take in more than 85% from even if they’re reinsert it. This has implications for advertising, one of them being get to the fucking point. 

You can’t have three minutes because that’s one of those things you see winners at various awards ceremonies and so on. We have, like, five minutes of this big movie about emotional is that and the other. And this talk on the logo at the end. No one will make the connection, but yeah. Anyway, another example. Okay. So what is the science tell us about how we, as human beings, interpret information, for example, how can we apply the strategy and tactics? 

And so we’re fully species. Aren’t we a very strange when that behaves in predictably irrational ways, I suppose, is setdescribes it. Yes. 

That’s another thing as well. Again, as I mentioned, you can sort of trace it all the way back to 17 hundreds. But allow economic theory going into, like, general competitive deliveriment on is based on this idea of rationality. And the reason why is a side note has to do with a Gigoulande the utility problem. So what I mean by that is like, so if you look at economic theory up until that point in history now like, 19, 40, 50 ish basically it was based on this idea of utility. 

So something a consumer or customer will only buy something that’s useful to this idea, which makes sense. Right. But how can you measure the difference in the utility between an Apple and Orange? You know, you’re gonna mention are measured and Coote utils. That’s what they called it. You know, it depends. Somebody trying to. So Samuels Numbers, a math guy from Harvard debate who said, Well, OK to screw that, we’re gonna just look at what people are doing in that because we can’t say the difference in utility between an Apple and Orange is X. 

But we can say is that this person prefers on Orange a wise person. However, in order to make that work, he had to sort of assume that people are rational and consistent in their behaviour. Otherwise mathematical formula didn’t work. That’s what led to eventually the sort of Nobel Prize winning figure of general competitivein. But again, this idea of rational behaviour. And although we can look at what people are doing in and of itself, you also have to understand why people are doing it and this idea that people are rational. 

I mean, if you ever listened to a very sullen speak, and by the way, if you haven’t, you need to go do that now because it’s amazing. But you do exactly to a point you do realise quickly on the people are not rational the posts they make sort of decisions based on recent memory in history and then contact and other post rationalises, which is a completely different thing. But that’s also one of those things that when you realise that a lot of traditional static darken just falls down. 

But it’s a different thing that post rationalisation. I’m aware of the time, and this is quite a chunky subject to get into in terms of when your research in the research phase of a strategy projects. And I’m assuming imagine assumption there that you have a research phase of your how do you view customer research? And I know, in my view, with so much terrible customer research out there, that is almost useless in many cases, but that post rationalisation of purchases and certain behaviours, how do you sort of one pick you accent research and find what’s usable? 

There are a couple of things I think you need to like baseline values. You want to call that a you want sort of want to keep in mind we’re going to in a research project. So first of all, you need to keep in mind that whenever you do research, it inherently obviously it has to be based on history. And if you’re taking that to then make decisions and sort of conclusions about the future. You kind of assuming that the future strong resemblance to the past, which may your main hat end up to be the case end up being the case. 

The other thing that you need to really think about is this is also coming out of the Ebi sales. But if you go to research agency and ask, for example, if you do a segmentation study and you ask them to come up with a bunch of differences between all these segments, they will find the differences. However, they probably haven’t flipped at similarities. I mean, that’s one of those room killers I often do whenever in those situations when I go has anyone looked at similarities and they all go, no. 

And the thing is that usually when look at similarity is probably going to find like 98 nine, 9% similarities between the various segments. Okay, then maybe we want to play that 99% is supposed to 1% stuff like that when you go in to research stuff in terms of again, the consumer behaviour or customer behaviour, whether it might be as opposed to the diagnostics. But the company what you’re trying to find or patterns and behaviour and trends, and you’re trying to basically in technical terms, you’re trying to essentially move from sq probability. 

In other words, you’re trying to move from a situation in which every scenario, every outcome is equally likely. And that’s strategy then becomes a matter of sort of improving deal, a success. That’s another thing about strategy complexity. You can never guarantee results. You can prove the as this one. And the point about research is trying to figure out, roughly speaking, what the patterns are transfer in the market. And then again, using that as a starting point. When you create the other stuff. Now we will not be something you won’t be able to draw a straight line from that point to the future because things will change and people change their behaviour and so on. 

But again, it’s a starting point. And one way that I describe it because I know that not all people have red hot run scope. But I’ll sort of explain what I mean by analogy really quickly. Traditional theory, especially coming from the US because they haven’t necessarily found sharp stuff yet, is that you find your best customers, right? The 20% that provides the 80% of the revenue, the traditional pay those flat themselves, and then you focus on that. That’s what you’re gonna. All right. So is my wife’s gonna kill me in three years ago. 

Now? Almost. I’ve almost forgot how long was inside got married with three years ago. So I got married, right? And so I was going on. Well, I’m turning 41. Not so 38. Up until that point in my life, I had never looked at wedding stuff ever. Right. I was a non buyer of the category. The closer I got to the wedding start about half a year out. I went from a non buyer to a light buyer and otherwise about some stuff. So medium buyer about a bit more to the heaviest of heavy buyers because I was getting through the button. 

I bought fucking everything. Right. And, you know, cost you an arm like as well. This is the reason the way that’s a sort of a tip. If any of your listings are getting married, try to your own planning, because basically the idea of the budding planner is like it’s like a consolidated loan bit. It’s like all your different assholes. You have to deal with consolidated into one big insert your work choice here. But it just it will cost you a normal line and probably see your own one you was. 

Anyway. 

I buy more and more stuff. I get to the wedding, and then I am now one of those the people, the 20% we’re going to focus all our efforts on. Right. Then I get married. And the single best thing about being married is not having to plan a fucking wedding. So the last thing on the planet I want to see is not the ad for anything. They were betting I’ve gone from a 20% heavy buyer again, a nonviable category. Yet for the next three months, I’m being targeted by Budding ass, which is completely useless because I don’t buy anything. 

And so when you’re talking about this, focus on the heavy buyer, the most profitable and so on. You kind of forget that people out of these groups, and it’s not necessarily your fault. One of the things lost and retention marketing is that people tend to forget that you may lose a customer of your doing, but because they’re moving to a different city, get a new job, the parents may be whatever it might be. Right. And so that is one of those things were. Okay. So based on this and the parents that we’re seeing, we need to play broader and blah, blah, blah. 

But the induction come out of research. 

I’m going to tell one painful story, not just anything you can do about it, but just you mentioned retention marketing, and it’s currently the bane of my life. I moved houses from somewhere where I had sky TV to my current house, where I can’t have a sky dish on the outside of the house. So Council Sky and I’ve got Virgin in Reema broadband. I get a phone call twice a week from sky. I get a letter three times a month from sky can come back. Here’s an offer I’m like. 

No, I cannot physically have sky TV where I am. Do you want to stop ringing me now? Yeah. Okay. Phone Rings Again what point is it useful to your business to care? I’m ring me to try and get me to come back, because even I love you more than life itself. I can’t come back and change the planning law where I am. 

Yeah, exactly. 

Do that. 

Yeah, exactly. And there are two really important things is so the first one is rather than thinking in terms of retention marketing, think about just reacquisition, because at the end of the day, you know, if you talk about retention, it kind of presumes. There is a line where it goes from retention marketing to reposition marketing with us acquisition marketing. And. Okay. So let’s say you say, oh, well, based across the lack on value and so on, retention marketing is two years ending after that, its requisition. Okay. 

So what you’re saying is that if a client has been with you or bought your stuff rather because it’s never you rent people and invert commas obviously that you get my point. They’re temporary bias of you who also buy other stuff. And if you’re not the largest and they’re probably going to buy more from others than you. But anyway, so what that means is that if a customer it’s quite ability for one year and 363, four days, right. That’s retention. And one day later it’s all of a sudden is reacquisition. 

Let’s go. That doesn’t really make sense. So making that distinction is a bit stupid, I think, although, of course, you can do in terms of, well, these are the decline list that we have in the database and so on. You fine. But it becomes a bit of a theoretical thing that doesn’t hold up in Practise. The other thing is that and this goes back to what I mentioned about starting points and trying to figure out works for you and so on. But a really good trick, if you want to try to figure out this for your company is to look at your growth rate and then your penetration rate and you turn rate and then put them on the same diagram, because what you’re going to see that time and again and it tends to be consistent to a point that you wouldn’t believe. 

But what are you going to see is that your growth and your penetration are going to follow almost exactly to the point where as your chart is going to look like this and this has nothing to do with growth and those kinds of realisations were you doing this sort of work will not only will sort of get you to understand your business, but also if you’re speaking to you, for example, a CMO or Co, Iwhatever and you say, actually, we need to sort of work more of that position. 

Here’s the evidence of wine. Then they tend to go, oh, actually, yeah, that makes sense. 

I can one of the things I think I learned early on that the power of a visual. You can walk around the subject for hours and are sometimes you just need one chart on the wall or somebody with a bad diagram with a pen on the wall and go, oh, yeah. 

Exactly. And eat your point do have the talk a problem with a lot of companies, and this is kind of unavoidable, but they become, of course, sin load. And the problem with marketers is that they think all sort of financial people, finance people are the kids and vice versa because it’s not speaking to another. However, if you actually sit down and speak, I have lunch with people from the rest of your company. If you sit down and speak to the head of procurement, for example, he or she will problem be able to sort of give you all kinds of good advice about marketing and how you can assure that marketing actually is qui the rest of the company. 

And so on. And that’s been also one of those things you’re talking about tricks and tips. But there’s been consistent in my work is if you can explain marketing and this goes back all the way to your pre first point about definition of language. If you can explain marketing in terms of language that finance people understand, all of a sudden your budget will become bigger. I mean, so many problems is magically disappear overnight. If you just start speaking their language instead of saying like brand building and activation, talk about it in terms of stabilisation of future cash flow. 

And aspiration current cash from the son speak their language, and all of a sudden you’ll be taken to be something completely different you have in the past. 

Now you’ve just dropped a top tip into the show there and I didn’t get to do the same tune in advance, so I’m just going to do it Posteritati. There you go on the only bit of the podcast anyone ever mentions to be. No one ever says to love that episode. I just get people get message. 

Good. 

Why do you sing the thing too? Because why not? Why not? Look as the time is rolling on and you’ve mentioned a number of blogs, books and resources and things. So what I’ve written down, I’m going to link to your main week columns to Crichlow your newsletter, Invisible Gorilla Mike, follow. I think you mentioned General competitive equilibrium. We’re all civil and the link to that. 

But any of the books or blogs or things that I think if you’re marker and you haven’t read how Branco this is a popular thing, I think for people like me or evidence base, but you need to read how Branco wanted to. I can see that I can see the menu book show the red and blue, but you need to read them because they are probably the most important books in last when they come up 2000 and something, let’s say 30, 40 years at least. And that’s something that you really want to read. 

The other thing which is worth reading, although this is more about a difficult one is a book called Strategy Synthesis by Bob The Width. So this is an MBA book for leaders. So it’s not necessarily something that you want to read if you are a junior or of course, you can read Unit, but it’s not an easy read necessarily. But what I really don’t like about that book is that it talks about all these various tensions that we reference. So the tensions between, for example, the global and local, but also the emergent and deliberate, and it will not tell you what to do. 

It’s not sort of recipe book, but it is a book that will kind of go case. These are the various sort of view of strategy, and you need to be able to balance these because so that’s really good. And then the last one I think is probably worth reading, especially if you’re instead sort of understanding how markets and firms work. Is this book called The Origin of wealth by Eric Beinhocker, who’s one of the guys from the Centre fans too. So it deals with complexity, but it’s a really interesting book that kind of looks at economic history, and you know, what has got us to this point, then it sort of explains what we do instead. 

But it explains a lot of things about how markets work and why in the way the companies are run and what and basically the problems with that that you face every day, the kind of stuff that doesn’t make sense to you and the kind of script pace between the theoretic and the practical. It’s a very good book for that, and also very interesting read in general. 

And a couple of new ones there is, I think, how Brown’s Girls turned up a couple of times in recommendations inevitable as of its imports. But the two new books actually can tone. Yeah. 

Yeah. Cos this is one of those books that I probably I probably deserve some sort of price from the author because I’ve told them so many books on this. But there is a book called The Halo Effect by Phil Rosen side, and it’s a really easy, entertaining read about strategy, but also especially about strategic analysis and all of the different mistakes that you make is anonymous. The things about correlation versus causation, the fact that if you read books like The Lean Startup or from Good to Great or I would argue that even field stuff cities you can really learn anything from only looking at companies that do well. 

And the way that I put this on Twitter is that if you look at high performing companies, you’re probably going to find that they, for example, all have coffee n cheese. But your conclusion can therefore not be well. That means that if you just buy a coffee machine, it means you’re gonna go on to be successful company because of course, most unsuccessful companies have coffee machines, too. And that’s the thing about when you only look at high performing companies and try to draw conclusions. You have no idea whether the poorly performing companies are doing the same thing. 

And they look it talks about that to great effect. And it’s one of those game changing books, like How Branco. Once you’ve read it, it’ll just completely changed the way that you read columns and Marketing Week or Hard Business of you or whatever. I’ll just change your world view. That’s really, really cool. 

That Bello at that. Interesting you mentioned and I’m a fan of only joking. Anyway, I’m a fan of Wild Predictions of Things and declaring things dead companies that are around at some point over the last year or so. I’ve confidently predicted, and I say confidently that Netflix and Tesla will both not exist in ten years time. Yeah, Netflix because I think they’re fighting a battle with two people with deeper pockets, Disney and Amazon and something’s got to give somewhere in there and Tesla because they were leaders and jump forward. 

But if you look at the electric car sales now that the big boys have suddenly got into it from Volkswagen Group, and I think there’s a lot of shake up in the car market coming soon, and the plucky start ups as it is, I just look at Vale who are going to go. They’re going to win and isolated Ction on this. You mentioned about Coca Cola, a company that seemed to do no wrong in the marketing angle for generation after generation after generation from my very limited outside look seems to admit a number of rather massive cock ups in the last couple of years that suggests that something deeper rooted wrong at the organisation. 

Now I’m not going to say they’re going to disappear. But if you wanted to make a wild prediction of cold Pepsi ever over to Cook, and that’s when I’m going, if Cook keep making these missteps, maybe that’s the wild prediction number three that I’m going to make. 

Easystart with Netflix, it’s I think you’re right. But it becomes I think it’s a kind of a content war, ultimately because, you know, people just like people, I suppose look at various channels that have whatever you want to see at that time on it these days, people tend to just go, okay, so this new whatever channel this has this new show that I want to see. Hence I’m gonna just get that show there and so on. But doesn’t Teslas on anyone? Because I think you’re highlighted a couple of problems that most markets don’t see Tesla. 

They just had to think how Tesla is the greatest things, a side spread and on Musk and so on. Really, what happened with Tesla is that they were one of the first series moves in the industry and because of government brands in SA, and it became really, really cheap on a Tesla, especially if you’re a company, because the price of running a Tesla is very, very little. And again, you essentially be paid by the government to do so. So if you look at it, I don’t have all the figures. 

But I think in Northern Europe, at least it’s somewhere about 90. 95% of all Tesla’s, all the roads are actually company cars, private. The on. And what has then happen is that expected to your point is that the Germans have started to move in. And what do we see that? Well, all of a sudden when you make this choice about running an EV, well, you can go with Tesla, which is nice looking for and so on. Although I don’t really rate the quality of it, but it’s a different thing. 

It’s very much built for Southern California Northern roads. Let’s say all of a sudden you have Tesla, but also you have been presold so on. And you have all these choices and then you start getting back into the Germans. So I think Tesla is probably sort of doing well enough to be. I think I think there’ll be around ten years. But who knows? You know what? It’s one of those things about people like me. You are self complexity guys and both girls is that we never talk talking absolute because we don’t know what’s going to happen. 

But we know. But call is interesting because one of my sort of quote code famous and not on much better terms points is that most companies with many companies make it not because of their competencies, but despite their incompetencies, right. And I think that’s kind of true for cool at the moment is that although we see just the tiniest amount of what they put out. But Coca Cola is basically distribution business, right? So they just need to get Coke into McDonalds and restaurants and so on. 

And I think I think and this place into the negative bottom of disruption stuff. But about 50% of Coca Cola’s revenue come from people to buy 110 over two years. Right? That’s how long the flight Barrow the caveat there is. I may have gotten that wrong, but basically that’s what you’re looking at, even if you take highly this quote of differentiated brand like Dub 80% of the revenue comes from people to buy one Dover number two years or three years about a realist. There’s a really good study by Charles Graham on this. 

But anyway, point being that unless the Markus grew up things like the product itself or the distribution, I think Coke will be around and they’ll be decently. Fine if they start because the advertising stuff will remind people by Coke. Yes. But really, again, it’s about having it out there. I don’t want wine. Well, then you’re gonna have to have Coke basically, right. That can. And as long as they don’t fuck that up, I think they’ll be decently. Fine. But if they do mess with that, if they do go into this all Gil pivot everything all the time, something that I say to have a bit of an issue. 

And strategically, over the last five years they’ve been all over the place. 

So now and I think they’re being as everyone in that categories in the Al now, isn’t it? Whatever in that European decline and the move to healthier alternatives and getting a lot of corporate social responsibility stick for focusing on companies like countries like Mexico, where average consumptions much higher and almost they’re piling marketing efforts into there to try and increase that consumption, because the social social background to it is not a negative to pyriforme I appreciate that if your head office in Atlanta, there’s a lot of challenges coming across your desk ruling the coal business like Cork just said distribution changes in how people are behaving and they’ve tried to get into to healthier drinks and things like that buying cost of coffee on my Cork, isn’t it these days. 

Maybe I think they move into it to that stage, I think haven’t they moved into marriage on as well? I think as you raise a couple of interesting points. But one of them, I think, especially starting CSRs, of course, social responsibility. So one of them is in this time back strategy. So when we talk about strategy and purpose and values and so on, it can very easily become neocolonialist because a lot of the strategic theory comes out of white guys in the US and the University in the US as well. 

Right. And although it may be that will be a better place if I sort of it all lived by the values of people who go to Harvard. I’m not saying it wouldn’t. But anyway, basically a lot of that. We were in our head office in a last. We are going to define the values of everyone working for us in the entire world and all of a sudden you’re moving from sort of alignment to all and your colonialism. But the other thing that is interesting about purpose and this is I’m not at all a believer in purpose for marketing purposes in the sense of trying to convince people to buy your stuff because the evidence it just says something else. 

However, there is a point to purpose if you are relying on external investment, because what we’re seeing at the moment in investment and the financial industry is that a lot of investors will only invest into companies that are CSR driven for various reasons, which basically means that there might be a point of running purpose campaigns, even if it does fuck for the consumers of sort of signalling to potential investors that actually we are CSR given whatever. And that’s a point that’s often lost the purpose debates. 

And now with the Coca Cola needs that are not really sure. But most of the well, at least a lot of the supposed to the purpose different companies like Unilever or whatever. If you actually look at their business is to your point is just like, well, they’re purpose different in this company, but actually can sell some stuff in Mexico. On the side. 

A small number of companies you seem to to live and breathe it from top to bottom and they do it well and purpose being tagged on to the side of something as a campaign. It makes my teeth itch. And I’ve been asked to contribute to a blog. I might be out by the time this comes out, but anyway on mod. Com about should market is used purpose and it’s littered with lots of F words and words saying unless you it’s not a campaign, it’s a business. 

Sayabsolutelyand another thing that is often forgotten. All this and this is probably going to be quite a controversial point, especially if you have be religious. But within religion there is implicit idea of if we don’t define the Commandments for example, if we don’t explicitly tell people that they cannot murder rape and people will basically do it right. Which is kind of insulting if you look at the Jewish tradition, for example. And, you know, I don’t think the Jewish Jews would have made it all the way to Mount in the thought that murder, rape and pillaging the sort of kosher and then being told that it wasn’t after all, once they got there. 

But there’s also this sort of almost again, so insulting paternalistic. As long as we define the purpose for the company, that’s what ultimately leads our employees to be helpful or nine or whatever it is. And if we don’t have that purpose and people are just going to be tickets or customers or they’re gonna behave immorally, which I think is just stupid. And again, kind of insulting. Now, again, you might have certain values that you want to define. Sure, fine, whatever. But oftentimes the values that companies define tend to be but research set. 

I should say that those companies do not live up to the values in the I often place. Anyway, see if they want to think about how you do that. 

But let’s talk about changing the world. One coffee cup, one neighbourhood at a time. 

Yeah, exactly. And racism at Starbucks. Let’s all racism why you’re on the way you work. It’s like, yeah, it’s a bit of a Tiger issues, and that my friend. 

But sure, Jeff, if you can get me, if you have a contact at Mondelez, who can come on and talk about that God awful human ing thing, right. I want someone on a kind of a couple of people in the gun who, I don’t know, called a project. 

I’ve done. 

I want to talk. I want someone you do wonderful stuff. Great. Tell me about human ing. 

And it’s just one of those things. If you want to do good because you want to do good, then the ball means do good, right? If you want to do good because you think you can justify the bigger returns or whatever, don’t do it. But basically in places says is that you would do the opposite if it were better for business bad on purpose. I want call it that with cases serological catch mine too. And of course, the irony that that’s basically what companies do anyway to serve, tax and dodging that kind of, but not the less if you want to do good, developing do good, but don’t do credo good. 

Other the presumption that it’ll change the world because orationthe give you bigger profits over customers will care because usually they won’t. Eastwell. 

Listen, look, I have seen the time and I am going to let you go. But before I let you go, the last question, everybody gets asked. What one question will you expect me to ask that? 

I haven’t probably what complexity is. I get that question a lot, but it is a big question but I’ll give you the very condensed answer because it’s kind of key to my be onstrating right. I mentioned that firms in markets and companies are complex at the system complex adaptive systems or systems that are highly entangle and connected and intertwine. You have all of these various parts that interact and they create an emergent behaviour. Systemic behaviour now important is that behaviour is different to the behaviour of the parts. 

So a very sort of simple explanation. This is that if you were to go foraging or whether you see an ad and you look at the behaviour and will tell you anything about behaviour of the colony is calling us its own behaviour. Similarly, if you find a big colony, you can’t reduce that behaviour all the way down to the and now, of course, human beings are a lot more complex and answer. But the same principle applies. And what it means, for example, is that you cannot do root cause analysis. 

You cannot do the five pins. You cannot go if we do, A and B will happen because you won’t know because there’s not that linearity. So it’s understanding complexity as a sort of a complex system that is entwined entangled kind of like what’s it lifequotes like what I call break the bushes anyway, but I really in time to push is sort of where if you cut down one thing here won’t let to the melting there below, buteverything is a really, really tightly in connected and sort of couple together. 

Understanding that when you do strategy basically means that again you cannot guarantee anything, but you can improve the odds and you have to try and you have to adapt and you do this and understanding completely fundamentally changes your view of how you approach things. And it’s a really important thing because traditional instituti doctrine, especially at the planning school, comes out of any can trace this. I have traced tax and so on. It comes out of a really a Newtonian view of the world of everything being predictable and a leading to be right. 

The problem is that research or science, I just say physics and so on has moved on since then. And strategy happens. So we still think that markets are ordered. And if we do, A and B will happen where science will be able to prove that that’s actually demonstrably untrue. And so understanding complexity and people like Dave Snowden talks about this. It’ll just change everything. And that was a really explanation of colic. But if you want a better explanation, you can just reach out to me on quotesYou, can have on two find out. 

Twitter is probably the best one. I am on LinkedIn, but I detested so I’d rather put my Yepoon and be on LinkedIn. I can vote it because it’s just amateur hour and done something. But Twitter at Jason is species way of reaching me. I’m there quite a bit and then you can find me by my website as well with Jason. Com. But if you have any questions happy to answer them. Engage again. That is shit explanation of complexity I can do much better on so just reach out. 

I’ll give you the proper low down or of course you can also find you by mindwhich. 

Is Strategy a Practise subcommittee’s Links to the News letter Japanese website Twitter Fade All in the show not have a look whether you watch on YouTube or listening wherever the link and get in touch. Jp is a wonderful tweeter and I enjoy it when I see them pop it up on my face. So this has been a wonderful, wonderful kind of dance around all sorts of subjects and thank you very much for your time. 

Thank you pleasure for her for having a is amazing to be on. Thank you very much. 

Subscribe to our newsletter!

More from our blog

See all posts
No Comments