Why is a great question!
I don’t mean the existential why … why is this happening? Why are we here?
I don’t mean the finger pointing why either … why did you do that?! Why did you let that happen?!
I mean the genuinely inquisitive why … I’m curious, why is this our approach? Why do we think that happened?
It forces us to reflect, to take time out to think about the rationale for our approach and actions.
A new marketing manager has joined one of my clients. She’s coming from a completely different industry so isn’t weighed down with the baggage the rest of us carry around. And it’s incredibly refreshing.
She’s asking why. Why do we attend that event or exhibition? Why are we putting energy into that area? Why do we do that activity?
Collectively we’re taking a moment to reflect.
Some of the answers are pretty straightforward and logical. When we re-interrogate others it’s clear we’ve got it right but in some areas we’ve changed direction.
It would be great to be able to do this by just devil’s advocating the strategy and campaign plan but there is really good evidence that having a devil’s advocate doesn’t work. By definition a devil’s advocate just puts the opposing view. To really challenge and emerge with a robust solution the parties need to hold opposing views; if you’re vested in one side or the other, however subliminally, you don’t convey the necessary commitment.
The real challenge then is how to achieve this effect without having someone with decision-making power come in from the outside.
Answers on a postcard please!