When ZERO ACTION is the best action

Do I really need to make a decision or can I let this one go?

If you are in a leadership role, you get really good at making decisions. It’s part of your job. And by default it becomes part of your identity and ego!

After reading what was a life changing book about our relationship with our own thoughts, I realised that I didn’t need to make or intervene in as many decisions as I thought I previously needed to. What would happen if I didn’t? Would the situation be better or worse off?

When someone comes into a role, or a consultant/agency starts working with a business, we think our role is to make or help make decisions. That’s why we’re there. What I have come to realise is that every situation is different and some of them call for no decision to be made.

This doesn’t mean nothing gets done. What I am asking though, if we can separate ourselves from our ego’s need to make a decision, then what would it look like?

I see this time and time again in marketing. A new brand or marketing manager comes on board and they think it’s their job to change the packaging or refresh the brand, or build a new website… and yes they may be completely right in taking this decision, but my question is who are we making the decision for?

Is it to feel good about our contribution or because it presents a viable business opportunity and/or a means of cultivating long term brand value?

Two weeks ago Coca-Cola announced a name change from Coca-Cola No Sugar to Coca-Cola Zero Sugar. Ummmm… when did they change it from Coke Zero? Apparently in 2017, they dropped Coke Zero and went with Coca-Cola No Sugar (off the back of the global strategy and a new formula).

Despite the global push at the time, Alison Watkins (CCA chief executive), said “the transition to No Sugar was a “work in progress” because Australian consumers, more than any in the world, had taken Zero to their hearts.”

So why change it?!! As marketers we know what a prized opportunity to have our brand find itself in people’s hearts. It takes a lot of smarts and nurturing.

Hindsight is a beautiful thing, but could this be a case of being so focused on a singular decision that they missed the bigger picture?

So now we find ourselves in boardroom reflection mode, if we are humble enough, we would be asking questions like:

– Did we need to make this decision or not?

– What would it have looked like if we didn’t make the change?

– Why did we allow global to override at the risk of the Australian consumer?

– How were we so confident in asking our customers to break-up with Zero?

– Why would they trust us with their heart again?

Too many times we are so focused on making a decision, making it happen, that we forget to ask what happens if we don’t do anything?

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