‘Don’t just do something… sit there!’* A guide to Muzeable Thinking.

Like all consultancies we can be a bit ‘blah blah’, endlessly talking about our theories and approach, but we do have a clear perspective on the world and how we need to respond to it.

We talk to a lot of businesses and we increasingly find that they face a level of complexity and uncertainty that makes the processes of strategy and decision making – of controlling your own destiny – appear nigh on impossible. Everybody talks about the weight of performance expectation, the need for speed and a relentless pressure to get things done. Maybe, if the problems are difficult, then doing more stuff isn’t always a bad response, but when asked if a more reflective, deeper response to some of these challenges might help, leaders say, yes, but… here’s the rub, only if it is done just as fast as other thinking!

Even the brands or businesses we see doing well often seem to be ‘winning a bit’, versus delivering sustainable growth… whatever the rhetoric. They are exploiting a briefly held product advantage or have found a temporary marketing edge or they are just in the right place at the right time. Whatever, we see lots of situations where people seem to acting in haste, not in context…and the context is that things have fundamentally changed. What worked in the past will not always work now, so in turn our responses need to change. Muzeable aims to offer some fresh perspectives on how to win in our VUCA [Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity] world. But because it is difficult, we can’t offer a quick fix or any easy solutions. Sorry.

 

So, Muzeable Thinking?:

Two principles underpin our approach…

  • “Don’t just do something, sit there.’ It will be uncomfortable, but, alongside the fast stuff, seek the right answer not the quickest answer to the big questions.
  • Everything we do must be USEFUL, USEABLE and USED… consultancy is often useful, occasionally useable, but rarely used!

 

The foundation of our work…

1. This is the age of contradictions. We need to understand what are the key ones for your business. They include:

  • The big one – complexity demands deep strategic thinking, but we all need to work at a speed that sometimes prevents it
  • It’s the age of big data and macro planning at the same time as marketing goes ‘nano’ with real time and 121 dialogue
  • Scale bring big benefits, but small and agile new competitors can skim off the most attractive parts of most categories
  • Fluidity and agility – experimentation/test learn do – is key, but we increasingly risk lurching from A to Z – leading to incoherence.

 

2. Points of change. This is when you need to ensure you think before you act. Simplistically put, there are 3 points of change, this is when we work best:

  • When you, or even more interestingly, the category are STUCK.
  • When someone else is doing it BETTER or DIFFERENTLY from you
  • When you are doing something NEW

 

Each of these situations requires deep thinking to ensure the first step of the response is the right one and the roadmap is clear. By the way, this thinking isn’t a slow process, but it cannot work in the neat project bundles or the just do it world.

 

3. Solutions.

We do lots of things for lots of people, but…

  • Strategy never starts with strategy… it ALWAYS starts with GROWTH. Our core skill is helping brands and businesses to build a GROWTH FRAMEWORK. A long term view on how your category works and where the points of impact are… and how you’ll win. We call this the MECHANICS OF GROWTH
  • Always think at a category level and this must include adjacencies and a clear view of customer and channel [online and offline] – otherwise the thinking will not get used!
  • DATA RECYCLING. Spend more time and effort extracting value from what you already know or have.
  • Because of our category/ framework led approach we are good at   INNOVATION and especially CLAIMS GENERATION – finding messages and ‘space’ that work.
  • Basically working to find traction in any situation where the next step on the journey really matters.

 

4. How we do it.

  • We aim to provide small intense inputs to senior clients. That’s how we get deep quickly.
  • We operate a network organisation… partners with deep expertise support our work – e.g. big data analytics, digital, media, category and shopper etc.
  • We have some process steps and some ‘products’, but ultimately fit the solution to the client – and their culture – because that’s how we make it get used.

 

If anything in this brief ‘manifesto’ rings true why not spark an interesting conversation…

Call Tim Brooks on 07802 531578 or email mailto:info@muzeable.com

 

* Justin Graham, taken from Wait, by Frank Portenoy, pp 75

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