The power of saying “We don’t do that.”

11 Nov

Readers of Seth Godin’s blog will be aware of his posting a few days ago entitled The Why Imperative.head-clickme2

What I took from the post was that companies can define ourselves by what we don’t do, as long as that definition leaves room for new opportunities and strategies for growth. And as long as we know why we don’t – or won’t – do “that”. If “because we never did” is the reason, we could be baking a recipe for disaster in the current climate.

When the economy is down and everybody is working harder to hit the bottom line, there will be a tendency to stray from the path that defines specifically who we are in the market. Copeland is as susceptible to that as any company.

But when we remind ourselves that generalist companies are becoming archaic, and that clearly defined companies are mopping up out there, we may have to rethink the instant-win approach.

It runs against all business instincts to turn down work in a down time. Assuming our reason for passing on the job isn’t “because we’ve never done that before”, our survival may ultimately depend on saying no.

Powerful thought.

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