IT’S NO TIME TO TRIP
By John Graham
Avoiding the Dangers: How easy it is to trip when we’re blinded by our beliefs. Unless we pay attention to the dangers inherent in our fast-paced business environment that are waiting to bring us down, it’s easy to trip at the most unexpected moments.
It happened on Thursday after lunch as I ran up five steps to the office holding a cup of coffee. On the second step, I tripped. Instantly I knew what happened. “Call an ambulance,” I shouted. It was a complete quadriceps tendon tear. This time on the right thigh. Four months later, the surgeon’s final check up with words of caution, “Don’t trip.”
Those words are also good business advice. While “Don’t trip!” is a powerful message, it can be ignored, even at a time when it’s easier than ever to take a dive on the second step. When they “trip,” many businesses either don’t recover or remain badly injured.
Yet, their missteps can make us more aware of the dangers and how to avoid them. Here are examples of what to watch out for:
• Never compromise credibility. Yet, companies can’t resist “putting a spin” on their actions, which only makes them look stupid or worse.
Take what Bank of America’s global strategy and marketing officer Anne Finucane said after her company pulled the plug on its $5 a month debit card charge in the face of a nationwide revolt led by a 21-year old part-time nanny. “We were too aggressive. We were convinced given the environment, given the reaction, given the mood of the country that it just wasn’t the thing to do,” she told the Boston Globe.
This is pure corporate spin, jibberish and should be avoided at all cost. Always protect the company’s credibility, which she could have done by saying, “We made a huge mistake and we’re correcting it. We should have been better listeners. It was a good lesson for BofA.”
• Watch out for the details. Paychex, a national company recently sent its 401(k) plan customers an urgent notice detailing an action they needed to take by a specified date. There was one problem: they neglected to include the contact information. What does that say about the company?
About the Author: John R. Graham of GrahamComm is a marketing and sales consultant and business writer. He publishes a monthly eNewsletter, “No Nonsense Marketing & Sales.” He can be contacted at 617-774-9759, by email at email@example.com or at johnrgraham.com.