Another Year Wiser

A reflection on what we’ve learned this year.

Diana Lillicrap & Wendy Ruyle 12/2/2016

We’ve taken a moment to reflect on common themes of 2016 and identify what we’ve learned through the process so we may begin 2017 with clarity and resolution.

Seek the experts

This year we have worked diligently at finding and partnering with the right experts for a variety of needs. We see this as a trend in many facets of business. Gone are the days of “jack of all trade” consultants, replaced by precision specialists who excel at focused talents and at comfortably working in fluid teams with other experts. It’s a team approach. And it’s the only way to do top-notch work.

Acknowledge the elephants

Bumps, detours, and even uncomfortable discoveries are bound to come up at some point or another in almost every project. Denying, avoiding, or trying to move forward without acknowledging them is a recipe for failure. We’ve learned the swiftest and most effective way through these situations is with candor and compassion with a focus on the big picture. Once the elephant is identified, a plan to adjust can be put in place and things quickly get back on track.

Get insider perspective

The best way to understand your customers, is to become them. This year, both with our clients and with ourselves, we’ve seen firsthand how walking in a customer’s shoes is the best way to gain insider knowledge and true empathy for the experience. If you haven’t taken time to be your own customer—truly live through the experience of your brand—we’d encourage you to do so. You’ll learn what works, what needs to change, and why it all matters to people outside of your walls.

Invest in infrastructure

If you want to evolve your business and your brand, you have to invest first. Start by defining your strategy and mapping out your plan and then put the right infrastructure in place to turn your ideas into realities. It will take time and cost money—two things that make change even harder. But if you have focus and are patient, the investment will pay off, and your organization will be able to successfully adopt the changes you’ve created because the right foundation and supports are in place.

Let go of control

Easier said than done, but it’s a lesson we all need to embrace. The world of communications is more fluid, evolving, and chaotic than ever before. Trying to control every message, customer interaction, and representation of your brand is unrealistic and even counterproductive. Instead, realize that your brand sometimes takes on a life of its own, driven by customers who speak on your behalf, a marketplace that dictates where the brand needs to go, and a world that will expect something even better tomorrow. Success requires flexibility and a realization of the power in the potential of the unknown.

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